Popular lightweight Roger Huerta has turned down a new five-fight contract from the UFC and will instead, at least temporarily, pursue an acting career, the fighter has confirmed to Sherdog.
“I’m not burned out [with fighting],” said Huerta. “I have one fight left with the UFC and I want to honor that. As soon as they tell me to fight, I’ll fight my last fight on the contract. I saw that you have to dedicate as much as you do to training for a fight as you do for an acting role and I’m intrigued by that. I’m 25 years old. I see Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture and they didn’t really hit their primes till their thirties. I’m only going to be young so long and I know that movies and agencies and what not want the young look.”
Huerta (20-2-1) rose to popularity with an exciting unanimous decision victory over Leonard Garcia at UFC 69 in April 2007 and a subsequent appearance on the cover of Sport Illustrated, a first for the sport. After compiling six-straight victories in the UFC, including a hard-fought third-round submission of Clay Guida in late-2007, controversial comments left “El Matador” inactive for most of 2008 before returning to lose to top 155-pound contender Kenny Florian in August.
Huerta, who, according to the report, declined a February matchup with Joe Stevenson, also confirmed that he’ll return to the UFC when he resumes his fighting career and won’t negoitiate with competing promotions.
“The UFC is my home and it is my family and eventually I’ll come back,” said Huerta. “Pursuing the modeling and acting thing, that’s kind of where I’m at right now. The fighting will always be there. I’ll always have that in me. The truth is I’ve been fighting my whole life for everything, and this to me, is something else.”