At the age of 31 with a record of 22-7-1, is Roger Huerta a comeback candidate? Friday night’s first-round TKO against Englishman Christian Holley at ONE FC 19 is a good start.
Huerta graced the UFC octagon from 2006 to 2009 (8-2-0). During his tenure there he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine and was referred to as Dana White’s dream come true, noting the combination of his skills and looks, making him very marketable as a fighter.
His backstory as an abused child, eventually adopted by his high school teacher is one that movies are made of. His nickname “El Matador” comes from his Mexican and Salvadorian decent. He is the type of guy people want to watch succeed.
After suffering four losses in a row, the MMA world thought they might have seen the last of Huerta. ONE FC 4 looked to be the nail in the coffin with a loss to Yuji Shimada by way of soccer kick. After a 26-month hiatus, “El Matador” has overcome his circumstances once more.
Against Holley (10-1), Huerta was able to reverse a takedown off of an attempted head kick and obtain side control. From that position he hit the Englishman with a barrage of knees to the head. Holley eventually moved into a turtle position allowing Huerta to take his back and finish with strikes. The bout was called at 3:13 of round one.
“I almost hung it up, I almost retired,” Huerta stated after the fight. “I want to thank my guys at Team Tiger (Muay Thai), Team Banter, these guys, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today, I wouldn’t be here competing again. They revived me, they wanted me to compete again, so I am here and I owe it to them.”
This was Huerta’s second bout under the ONE FC banner and he is expected to make another appearance sooner rather than later.
Welcome back El Matador!