Former UFC lightweight contender Roger "El Matador" Huerta today confirmed rumors that he had signed with Bellator FC.

The thing that Bellator has that no one else has is the tournament format. If I win, I continue to fight. I need to fight. This tournament is perfect for me. We get to control our own destiny.


 20-3-1 Huerta exited the UFC to the tune of two consecutive dents on his record dealt by Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard.  Huerta gained notoriety as the first MMA fighter to be depicted on the cover of Sports Illustrated, skyrocketing his popularity.  "El Matador" entertained in full with five charged victories in a row to ignite his UFC career, and then quieted the critics who claimed he was being coddled with soft competition by choking out division workhorse Clay Guida.

Huerta stayed busy in 2007 with five fights before slowing down with one fight apiece in 2008 (Florian) and 2009 (Maynard) while pursuing an acting career, and he also stirred things up when he told Fight! Magazine, "The truth is, I don’t really care if I fight in the UFC or somewhere else."

Florian showed off some slick footwork and good use of his range by scoring with an assortment of strikes that slipped through small holes in Huerta's aggressive attacks, while Maynard controlled most of the fight with his club-like right hand and strong cage presence.  Huerta was competitive and fought valiantly in both losses.

Huerta will jump into Bellator's upcoming lightweight tournament, where star lightweight Eddie Alvarez awaits the winner in a fight with the championship belt on the line.  Alvarez is scheduled to face new pick-up Josh Neer, a two-time UFC veteran who has shown that he's constantly improving and a handful for anyone at 155 pounds.

Toby Imada, who was a top candidate for the best submission of 2009 with his creative inverted triangle to upset favorite Jorge Masvidal, will reappear amongst the brackets, along with Chad Hinton, Ferrid Kheder, Mike Ricci, Janne Tulirinta, Carey Vanier.

Huerta spoke on the possibility of a match-up with Eddie Alvarez if he wins the tournament:

Our styles match up amazingly. I’ve got to climb the mountain first before I get there. Right now, my number one concern is to win this tournament.

 Source:  Sherdog



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