Amid the report that Roger Huerta has inked a new deal with the UFC I had some thoughts race across my mind. Like how did Huerta and the UFC come to terms after the what went down between the two prior to Huerta's fight against Kenny Florian? Where exactly is Huerta in regards to his place in the lightweight division? Most importantly, just exactly how good is Roger Huerta the mixed martial artist?
I've been a fan of Huerta for a while now, in that I like to see guys that come to fight. However, I wasn't a fan of the way he handled himself prior to UFC 87 and I pretty much blasted him for it. The Florian/Huerta match up was billed by many as a #1 contender fight with the winner getting to face BJ Penn. Many pundits and fans trashed the thought of Huerta possibly becoming the #1 contender in the stacked lightweight division. Citing that Huerta was a poster boy for the UFC, and the UFC was protecting Huerta giving him easy opponents. I will admit that Huerta wasn't fighting the upper tier guys in the division, but he wasn't exactly fighting cans either. We all see what Leonard Garcia is capable of, and Alberto Crane/Doug Evans are respected grapplers. Clay Guida is the perennial gate keeper of the lightweight division, although he struggled against him Huerta did finish him.
I really don't like to use MMA math and I'm trying to use it here. What I want to to is use Kenny Florian as a common opponent for two fighters. Kenny Florian is the legitimate #1 contender in the lightweight division, and Roger Huerta went the distance with him. Whereas, Joe Stevenson was finished by Florian in the first round. Joe Stevenson is a very good fighter that's respected by most fans, especially the hardcores(I'm hardcore btw). In no way am I trying to imply that Roger Huerta is a better fighter than Joe Stevenson, but many of the hardcores dislike Huerta because of the reasons I pointed out earlier. Maybe Florian improved just that much in between fights, or maybe Roger Huerta is better than a lot of people give him credit for? In your opinion, how good is Roger Huerta?