Roger Huerta is getting a ton of attention lately. And it appears to be for all the wrong reasons.
"El Matador" has perhaps his biggest test to date this weekend when he takes on Kenny Florian at UFC 87: "Seek and Destroy" at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., on August 9. With a win he will likely distinguish himself as the clear-cut number one contender in the division.
But he may never get to challenge for the title even if he does win if he can't ink a contract extension, which is a very real possibility if things don't change soon, according to Dave Meltzer at WrestlingObserver.com.
Here's his analysis:
"Huerta, who has one fight left on his contact after the Florian fight, is far apart with UFC on terms for a renewal. Huerta, who has gotten a new agent, was asking for six-figures guaranteed per fight as well as points on the PPV, in negotiations that haven’t gone well for some time. That’s a better deal then [BJ] Penn, so he wasn’t going to get it. The UFC position is that they groomed Huerta and pushed him hard and were careful of his opponents, with the exception of Clay Guida...."
UFC President Dana White will not allow Huerta to challenge for a belt until he re-signs. It's policy that the promotion follows to ensure champions defend their titles and don't bolt for another organization or tie-up the division with contract negotiations.
In short, he can't challenge for the title with just one fight remaining on his contract.
This of course come on the heels of Huerta dropping a bombshell in Fight! magazine recently, revealing that he's not pleased with his current arrangement with the UFC. In addition, he was apparently ticked that the promotion twisted his pre-fight interview to insinuate that his fight with Florian would be a "cake walk" (Huerta was actually comparing this fight to his rough and tumble upbringing).
Indeed, there appears to be some trouble in paradise between the "golden boy" and the promotion that has attempted to build him as a cross-over cultural star.
And things could go from bad to worse if he winds up with his hand raised in victory Saturday night. Florian, however, might be able to do something about that.