Roger Huerta
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Roger Huerta
Roger Huerta
Born (1983-05-20) May 20, 1983 (age 36)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.[1]
Other namesEl Matador
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)
DivisionLightweight (2003-2010, 2016-present)
Welterweight (2011-2016)
Reach70 in (178 cm)
Fighting out ofAustin, Texas[2]
TeamPhuket Top Team
Tiger Muay Thai
Rank     Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Years active2003-present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout12
By submission5
By decision5
By disqualification2
By knockout5
By submission2
By decision5
No contests1
Amateur record
By knockout3
By submission2
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Roger Huerta (born May 20, 1983), is an American mixed martial artist currently fighting in the lightweight division of Bellator MMA.[3][4] He initially gained exposure by competing in the lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (6-2), Bellator Fighting Championships (1-4) and later ONE Championship (2-3). His childhood and formative years have been the subject of several publications.[]

Early life

Huerta was born in Los Angeles, California. He had an arduous childhood with life continuing to be difficult throughout his teen years. Despite adversity, he has overcome many challenges, ultimately living what has been described as a "life that Hollywood producers make movies about".[5] Born to Lydia and Rogelio Huerta in Los Angeles, California, he spent the first 6 years of his life in Texas.[6] His father became heavily involved in drugs and alcohol and began an affair with another woman that led to a separation with Lydia.[7]

Huerta's mother became physically abusive, and when Huerta came to school with bruises covering his body, Child Protective Services intervened, placing him in a foster home for a short time.[3] In 1990, Lydia lost the custody battle for Huerta and fled the United States with Huerta, age 7, to her parents' home in El Salvador. Shortly upon arriving, Lydia abandoned Huerta leaving him in the care of his grandparents at the time of the El Salvadoran Civil War.[3] She returned a year later only to leave him on his father's doorstep in Texas. That was the last time he saw his mother.[3] Huerta openly talks about the mental and physical abuse he endured from his father and stepmother in that year. The next year he was relocated to Mexico and left with his father's parents living in poverty.[3] They would often send him out into the streets selling picture frames to tourists to make money.[3] For a brief time, his father and stepmother came back into his life where they moved to the Rio Grande Valley and enrolled him halfway through the year into 3rd grade. At 12 his father left home, and soon after Roger was kicked out by his stepmother.[3] He lived on the streets for many years and survived by joining a youth gang.[3] He often slept in alleys and on rooftops, but was encouraged by his friends to remain in school where he could eat a provided breakfast and lunch.[3]

He occasionally stayed with friends and just before his freshman year, his life began to turn around for the better. Maria King, his friend's mother, obtained legal custody of him and the three moved to Austin, Texas where he attended David Crockett High School (Austin, Texas). For one of the first times in his life he found himself in a stable environment and became quite popular in school and joined many of the school's sports teams including football and wrestling.[3] It was there he met Jo Ramirez, his English teacher, where she learned about his troubled childhood in a conversation discussing his future ambitions. Furthermore, Bryan Ashford, the school's wrestling coach, took a special interest in Huerta and continued to support him in division wrestling. Ramirez, already a mother of seven, adopted Huerta in 2002 at the age of 19.[8]

Ashford coached Huerta and with the help of Ramirez, aided him in applying for a collegiate wrestling scholarship. Huerta attends Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota with one year remaining in a Business Management bachelor's degree[9] and resided in St. Paul, Minnesota.[10]

Huerta worked for a time as a bouncer and construction worker.[11]


In Huerta's pre-UFC career, his first loss came as a result of a dislocated jaw early in the finals of the SuperBrawl 36 tournament against Ryan Schultz on June 18, 2004, his third match of the day.[12]

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Huerta was originally slated to make his UFC debut against Hermes Franca at UFC 61, but was forced to withdraw from the fight as the result of an elbow injury.[13] He won his first six fights in the UFC, the first at UFC 63 against Jason Dent, which was declared "Fight of the Night".

His next fight was against UFC newcomer John Halverson at UFC 67. The fight ended by TKO after 19 seconds of round one after Huerta landed a knee to the shoulder/head area of a grounded Halverson, knocking him down and finishing him with punches. The end of the bout was controversial as knees to the head of grounded opponents are illegal under UFC rules. It was later shown in a replay that Huerta's knee was actually to the shoulder rather than to the head.[14]

Next he fought in a three-round war with Leonard Garcia at UFC 69. winning via unanimous decision. After the fight, in May 2007, Huerta became the first mixed martial artist[15] to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine, for a story on the rising popularity of mixed martial arts.[16]

Huerta won his next two fights against Doug Evans and Alberto Crane. He then faced Clay Guida in the 2007's The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale. Huerta was visibly frustrated at losing in the grappling exchanges from Guida's wrestling offensive, spending a large part of the bout on his back fending off "ground and pound" from his opponent. Late in the second round, Huerta was stunned by a punch to the face while trying to get to his feet, but managed to survive until the end of the round. Early in the third round, Huerta looked to engage Guida on his feet, connecting with a knee to the face while attempting a kick Guida. After a brief flurry, Huerta took his back and submitted Guida by rear naked choke very late in the fight for an impressive come-from-behind win.

Huerta then lost his next fight by unanimous decision at UFC 87 against Kenny Florian.

On January 9, 2009, Huerta announced an indefinite hiatus from MMA to further pursue opportunities in acting.[17]

In order to complete his UFC contract,[15] Huerta returned on September 16, 2009, but lost to Gray Maynard at UFC Fight Night 19.[18] After a back-and-forth fight, he would end up losing a split decision in his bout against Maynard.

Bellator Fighting Championships

Despite having previously announced on his personal Twitter account that he was in talks with Strikeforce,[19] Huerta eventually signed with Bellator Fighting Championships. He was one of eight men to compete in the second season lightweight tournament, with the winner receiving a title shot against Eddie Alvarez.[20]

His first fight in the tournament took place at Bellator 13. Huerta defeated opponent Chad Hinton via submission (kneebar) at 0:56 of the third round.

His second fight in the tournament took place at Bellator 17. Huerta lost the semi-final to Pat Curran by a controversial unanimous decision (29-28 from all three judges).

However, on August 12 it was announced that Huerta would be fighting Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez, after Curran had to pull out of the fight due to a slap tear in his right shoulder. The Lightweight belt was not on the line when the two met on October 21, 2010 at Bellator 33 in Philadelphia.[21] He lost the fight via doctor stoppage at the end of the 2nd round.


Huerta fought against War Machine in a welterweight bout in the main event of Ultimate Warrior Fighting 1. Huerta lost the fight via TKO after he suffered a fractured rib during the final scramble in the third round where he rolled out of War Machine's submission armbar attempts to claim side control. From there, War Machine escaped from Huerta's side mount to directly take full mount with ease. Machine then rained down punches for the referee stoppage at three minutes and nine seconds.[22]

ONE Championship

Huerta signed with the Asian-based promotion ONE Championship in 2012. He was scheduled to fight Phil Baroni in a welterweight bout at ONE FC: Destiny of Warriors on June 23 but Baroni was pulled from the fight after suffering a TKO loss in a fight 3 weeks before the event.[23] Huerta instead fought Zorobabel Moreira at the event, and was defeated via KO (soccer kick) in the second round.

After two years away from the sport, Huerta returned to One FC on August 29, 2014. He faced undefeated Christian Holley at ONE FC: Reign of Champions and won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Bellator return

After seven-and-a-half years away from the promotion, Huerta re-signed with Bellator MMA for one fight in 2018. He faced Benson Henderson in the main event at Bellator 196 on April 6, 2018.[24] Huerta lost the bout via submission in the second round.

Subsequently, in May 2018, Huerta signed a new, multi-fight contract with Bellator.[25]

Huerta faced Patricky Freire on September 21, 2018 at Bellator 205.[26] He lost the fight via knockout in the second round.[27]

Huerta faced Sidney Outlaw at Bellator 234 on November 14, 2019.[28] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.


Huerta trained for his UFC fight against Kenny Florian with Greg Jackson's Submission Fighting.[29] For his Bellator debut, he spent time in Thailand and put together a training camp with MMA fighters such as Yves Edwards (UFC), Shad Lierley (Bellator), Jared Hess (Bellator), Dave Menne, and Jeff Clark out of the Phil Cardella / Relson Gracie Academy in Austin, Texas.[30]


Huerta made his acting debut as Miguel Caballero Rojo in the live action motion picture Tekken. He also starred alongside Kimbo Slice, Frank Mir, and Heath Herring in Circle of Pain, a 2010 direct-to-video film.

Personal life

On August 10, 2010, Huerta engaged in a street fight outside a bar around 2 AM in Austin, Texas, as reported by TMZ. In the video, a man alleged to be Huerta is seen exchanging words with and defending himself against a man, Rashad Bobino, a former Texas Longhorns linebacker,[31] who had just assaulted a woman.[32] Huerta was last seen near an unconscious Bobino. Bobino did not press charges.

Championships and awards

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
38 matches 24 wins 12 losses
By knockout 12 5
By submission 5 2
By decision 5 5
By disqualification 2 0
Draws 1
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 24-12-1 (1) Sidney Outlaw Decision (unanimous) Bellator 234 November 14, 2019 3 5:00 Tel Aviv, Israel
Loss 24-11-1 (1) Patricky Freire KO (punch) Bellator 205 September 21, 2018 2 0:43 Boise, Idaho, United States
Loss 24-10-1 (1) Benson Henderson Submission (guillotine choke) Bellator 196 April 6, 2018 2 0:49 Budapest, Hungary
Win 24-9-1 (1) Hayder Hassan DQ (illegal elbows) Phoenix FC 4 December 22, 2017 2 0:55 Dubai, UAE Welterweight bout.
Win 23-9-1 (1) Adrian Pang Decision (split) ONE 49: Defending Honor November 11, 2016 3 5:00 Kallang, Singapore
Loss 22-9-1 (1) Ariel Sexton Submission (strikes) ONE Championship: Dynasty of Champions July 2, 2016 3 3:53 Anhui, China
Loss 22-8-1 (1) Koji Ando Decision (unanimous) ONE Championship: Odyssey of Champions September 27, 2015 3 5:00 Jakarta, Indonesia
Win 22-7-1 (1) Christian Holley TKO (punches) ONE FC: Reign of Champions August 29, 2014 1 3:13 Dubai, UAE Lightweight bout.
Loss 21-7-1 (1) Zorobabel Moreira KO (soccer kick) ONE Fighting Championship: Destiny of Warriors June 23, 2012 2 3:53 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Loss 21-6-1 (1) War Machine TKO (punches) UWF 1: Huerta vs. War Machine November 26, 2011 3 3:09 Pharr, Texas, United States Welterweight debut.
Loss 21-5-1 (1) Eddie Alvarez TKO (doctor stoppage) Bellator 33 October 21, 2010 2 5:00 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Non-title bout.
Loss 21-4-1 (1) Pat Curran Decision (unanimous) Bellator 17 May 6, 2010 3 5:00 Boston, Massachusetts, United States Bellator Season 2 Lightweight Tournament Semifinal.
Win 21-3-1 (1) Chad Hinton Submission (kneebar) Bellator 13 April 8, 2010 3 0:56 Hollywood, Florida, United States Bellator Season 2 Lightweight Tournament Quarterfinal.
Loss 20-3-1 (1) Gray Maynard Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs. Guillard September 16, 2009 3 5:00 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Loss 20-2-1 (1) Kenny Florian Decision (unanimous) UFC 87 August 9, 2008 3 5:00 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Win 20-1-1 (1) Clay Guida Submission (rear-naked choke) The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale December 8, 2007 3 0:51 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night. Fight of the Year (2007). Tied UFC record for most wins in a calendar year (5).
Win 19-1-1 (1) Alberto Crane TKO (punches) UFC 74 August 25, 2007 3 1:50 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 18-1-1 (1) Doug Evans TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale June 23, 2007 2 3:30 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 17-1-1 (1) Leonard Garcia Decision (unanimous) UFC 69 April 7, 2007 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 16-1-1 (1) John Halverson TKO (punches) UFC 67 February 3, 2007 1 0:19 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 15-1-1 (1) Jason Dent Decision (unanimous) UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn September 23, 2006 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 14-1-1 (1) Joe Camacho TKO (punches) Raze MMA" Fight Night April 29, 2006 2 2:43 San Diego, California, United States
Win 13-1-1 (1) Dan Swift TKO (punches) Extreme Challenge 66 February 17, 2006 2 0:51 Medina, Minnesota, United States
Win 12-1-1 (1) Lee King Submission (rear-naked choke) IFC: Rumble on the Rio 2 October 15, 2005 1 0:50 Texas, United States Won the vacant IFC World Lightweight Championship.[35]
Win 11-1-1 (1) Matt Wiman Decision (unanimous) FFC 15: Fiesta Las Vegas September 14, 2005 3 5:00 Medina, Minnesota, United States
Win 10-1-1 (1) Brad Blackburn TKO (corner stoppage) IFC: Rock N' Rumble July 30, 2005 3 2:19 Texas, United States Won the vacant ISKA MMA Welterweight Championship.[36]
NC 9-1-1 (1) Melvin Guillard NC (overturned) Freestyle Fighting Championship 14 March 5, 2005 3 5:00 Biloxi, Mississippi, United States Originally a decision win for Guillard; overturned due to Guillard greasing between rounds.
Win 9-1-1 Kenny Jerrell TKO (punches) Freestyle Fighting Championship 14 March 5, 2005 1 2:15 Biloxi, Mississippi, United States
Win 8-1-1 Steve Kinnison Submission (rear-naked choke) Freestyle Fighting Championship 14 March 5, 2005 2 2:57 Biloxi, Mississippi, United States
Win 7-1-1 Naoyuki Kotani TKO (punches) Xtreme Fighting Organization 4 December 3, 2004 1 1:29 Lakemoor, Illinois, United States
Win 6-1-1 Jake Short Submission (rear-naked choke) Extreme Challenge 60 November 12, 2004 3 0:37 Medina, Minnesota, United States
Win 5-1-1 Matt Brady TKO (punches) Extreme Challenge 59 September 24, 2004 1 3:12 Medina, Minnesota, United States
Loss 4-1-1 Ryan Schultz Submission (dislocated jaw) SuperBrawl 36 June 18, 2004 1 1:47 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 4-0-1 Mike Aina Decision (split) SuperBrawl 36 June 18, 2004 3 3:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 3-0-1 Harris Sarmiento TKO (punches) SuperBrawl 36 June 18, 2004 3 2:12 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Draw 2-0-1 Joe Jordan Draw Extreme Challenge 56 March 26, 2004 3 3:00 Medina, Minnesota, United States
Win 2-0 Jeff Carlson DQ (headbutt) EC - Best of the Best 2 - Day Event August 2, 2003 2 4:52 Anoka, Minnesota, United States
Win 1-0 Shane Lavafor TKO (punches) EC - Best of the Best 2 - Day Event August 2, 2003 1 2:12 Anoka, Minnesota, United States

See also


  1. ^ Roger Heurta UFC profile
  2. ^ Roger Huerta sherdog
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jon Wertheim (October 8, 2007). "Right at Home: Roger Huerta has found solace as rising star in UFC". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Roger "El Matador" Huerta". Sherdog. 2010. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Roger Huerta". Retrieved .
  6. ^ "Roger Huerta, My Fight 4 Kids". Roger Huerta's Official Website. Retrieved .
  7. ^ Myron P. Medcalf (August 8, 2008). "Roger Huerta's life: His toughest fight". Star Tribune. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "May-23-2008 Huerta Q&A Highlights video". Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Roger Huerta - Saving Nothing for The Swim Back". 2007-01-31. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "The Ultimate Fighter next door". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on November 20, 2007. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "UFC Roger Huerta". Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Ryan Schultz vs. Roger Huerta". Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Injury Forces Huerta Off UFC 61 Card". 2006-07-01. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "UFC 67 Full Review: Silva, Cro Cop, Jackson Win". MMA Weekly. 2007-02-04. Archived from the original on 2007-02-11. Retrieved .
  15. ^ a b "Huerta-Maynard in Works for September". 2009-06-25. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "'Sports Illustrated' Cover Features the UFC". 2007-05-23. Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Huerta Passes on UFC Contract". 2009-01-29. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs. Guillard". Archived from the original on 2009-07-08. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "Roger Huerta heading to Strikeforce?". Retrieved .
  20. ^ John Morgan; Steven Marrocco (2010-03-14). "Bellator calls Monday press conference, expected to announce signing of Roger Huerta". Retrieved .</
  21. ^ Matt Erickson. "Roger Huerta Meets Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 33 in Philadelphia". MMA Fighting.
  22. ^ "Weekend Results: War Machine TKOs Roger Huerta". November 28, 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  23. ^ "Following TKO Loss, Phil Baroni Out of One FC Fight with Roger Huerta". June 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  24. ^ "Bellator 196: Henderson vs. Huerta". 2018-04-06.
  25. ^ Ariel Helwani (May 3, 2018). "Roger Huerta signs long-term contract with Bellator".
  26. ^ "Bellator 205's Patricky Freire always has wanted to fight Roger Huerta for pleasure of beating him up". MMAjunkie. 2018-09-10. Retrieved .
  27. ^ Anderson, Jay (2018-09-21). "Bellator 205 Results: Patricky Pitbull Knocks Out Roger Huerta in Firefight". Cageside Press. Retrieved .
  28. ^ Nolan King (September 2, 2019). "Sergei Kharitonov vs. Linton Vassell, Huerta, Vanderford, Gozali father-son, more set for Bellator 234".
  29. ^ "Roger Huerta to train with Greg Jackson camp". MMAmania.
  30. ^ "Exclusive: Bellator 13 Pre-Fight Interviews, Featuring Roger Huerta, Joe Warren + More". CagePotato.
  31. ^ "Ex-Longhorn Football Player Hit Girl In TMZ Video". SPORTSbyBROOKS.
  32. ^ "Ex-UFC Star in Bloody Street Fight -- Caught on Tape". TMZ.
  33. ^ Brian Knapp (2014-10-25). "UFC 179 Prelims: Neil Magny equals UFC record, posts fifth win of 2014".
  34. ^ Dana Becker (2014-10-25). "UFC 179 results: History for Neil Magny with fifth win (in 2014)".
  35. ^
  36. ^

External links

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