This weekend, two fighters who five years ago were considered at the top of their games and were among the sport’s most recognizable stars, Fedor Emilianenko and Roger Huerta competed. Emilianenko fought in his native St Petersburg, Russia in what was his final match as he marches into retirement, while Huerta entered the ONE FC cage in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for what some will hope is the last time.
For Fedor, he went out fighting in Russia, again competing in front of President Vladimir Putin, and he made short work of veteran Pedro Rizzo, scoring the KO victory in less than 2 minutes. Rizzo, who was a fierce UFC rival of Randy Couture nealry 10 years ago and had not competed in about 2 years, was able to offer little resistance as Fedor looked better than he has in his last several matches, with the aggression of old out there for all to see.
But alas, the argument will rage ad infinitum. Is Fedor the greatest MMA artist we have seen, or is his legacy affected by the fact that he never fought in the UFC’s Octagon? We will never know. All we know is that if your a betting person, you won’t have ‘The Last Emperor’ to throw your cash behind anymore.
The case of Roger Huerta is more tragic, as opposed to Fedor’s going out as a hero with a win in front of his hometown crowd.
The first big tragic thing to think about is that we will likely see Huerta pop up fighting somewhere. If promoters are still dumb enough to hire Bob Sapp, Huerta still has some appeal.
But who is guiding this kid’s career, and how can he stop this cataclysmic fall, or can he?
The fight in ONE FC, against a tough, unknown Brazilian kid named Zorobabel Moreira was at 170 lbs, or as a welterweight. Huerta, who rose to stardom at 155 lbs in the UFC, was not a particularly big Lightweight, and the size difference showed in this fight. Huerta blew a lot of energy trying to get to his taller opponent, and when he could not break through, he started to eat kicks left and right.
Regardless, until Huerta can show something different in his fights, he is a fighter you hope to not see. And if you do see him on a card, stay away – the name Roger Huerta does not mean what it once did in MMA.