#4 Roger Huerta
In 2007, Roger Huerta featured on five cards, which is astounding considering the average UFC fighter only manages two or three fights a year and that in 2007, UFC ran far fewer shows then they do now.
Back then, UFC fans could name most of the fighters on the card so when Huerta constantly kept popping up on events, fans took notice, especially when he was matched up against low-level competition. The UFC was feeding easy wins to Huerta to enhance his profile.
The handsome Huerta became the first mixed martial artist to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Back when mainstream coverage was scarce, this was a massive deal.
On the last fight card of ’07, Huerta was given his real first test, Clay Guida. Huerta picked up the win with a rear-naked choke in the third round.
The fight was a war and won numerous Fight of The Year awards. Huerta didn’t just pick up a win against a name opponent; he did so in a fantastic bout. Huerta had proven his doubters wrong; he had arrived.
Then it all went wrong.
Despite being on the verge of a title shot and superstardom, Huerta took the next eight months off to focus on college.
Huerta was tempted back when perennial challenger Kenny Florian challenged him. Huerta lost by decision. After that lacklustre fight, Huerta took more time off, this time to pursue acting.
Huerta came back over a year later in Sept 2009 to fulfill the last fight on his UFC contract. He lost to top contender Gray Maynard via split decision in a tightly-contest bout.
Neither Huerta or the UFC was interested in resigning.
After that, Huerta drifted around various MMA promotions, failing to make an impact. Huerta recently resurfaced in Bellator, but this time he was the one being fed to the bigger star, former UFC champion Benson Henderson. Huerta lost that fight via tapout.Published 24 May 2018, 03:04 IST