While most sports fanatics are counting the seconds until the NCAA Tournament kicks off Thursday, former UFC lightweight Roger Huerta used the philosophy behind March Madness to help him decide on leaving the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization to see if the grass is greener at Bellator Fighting Championships.
“The thing that Bellator has that nobody else has is that tournament format,” Huerta stated at Monday’s press conference. “Again, us fighters control our own destiny. In order for me to continue to fight, I gotta win.
“This tournament is perfect for me and at the end of the day, winning this tournament gives me a shot at fighting for the title and it will be against a guy known as one of the best in the world right now in Eddie Alvarez.”
Thankfully for Huerta, the UFC didn’t bother filling out their brackets for “El Matador’s” last two outings as he exits the Octagon with a pair of decision losses. Although he’s in the midst of the longest losing streak of his career, Huerta feels Bellator is exactly what the doctor ordered.
“It’s like March Madness. It doesn’t matter how you start the season, it’s how you finish it,” Huerta emphatically stated. “For me, it’s perfect. The fans want to see me fight constantly, and I want to fight constantly. In order for that to happen, I gotta win.
“Since I was out so long, this is the best way for me to fight constantly and it’s up to me to continue to fight,” said Huerta. “It’s going to be grueling. I’ll fight in April, then on to May and June. But I want to continue to fight. I went from fighting five times in one year in ’07, then once in ’08 and ’09. Now I can fight four times in 2010.”
Huerta owns an impressive 20-3-1 professional record and appears anxious to get his career back on track. Although he’s not prematurely filling out his bracket and looking past the field, his sights are definitely set on the main prize.
“My goal was to be the world champion, to be one of the best in the world, and I have that opportunity now with Bellator,” he said. “In going through this mountain of this tournament, you’re going to see me fight three times; I guarantee you that.
“You will see that fight against Eddie. That’s going to be awesome, too.”