Dave Meltzer, in the latest edition of The Wrestling Observer, says that the UFC and Roger Huerta are “far apart” regarding contract negotiations. Huerta has one fight left on his contract after the upcoming fight with Kenny Florian this weekend. If he doesn’t renegotiate soon then there’s a very real possibility of missing out on a title shot should he win on Saturday. MMA Mania has the exact wording from Meltzer:
“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….”
It’s really unbelievable to me that Huerta could possibly be asking for more money than B.J. Penn makes. Penn is not only the current lightweight champion but one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world with victories over some of the best in the game. Penn has earned the kind of money that he’s making right now. With the exception of Clay Guida, who is truly a lightweight gatekeeper, who has Huerta beaten to command that type of money? The answer is no one.
Now, should he beat Florian on Saturday then we might be singing a different tune. Florian is a great fighter who is on a roll and improves each and every time out. Right now, in my eyes, he is the number one contender for the title. A win over Florian for Huerta would go a long way in commanding top-dollar from the UFC and cementing his spot at the top of the lightweight division.
Huerta continues to talk about receiving a title shot, but if he’s not close to another deal then there’s no real possibility of him fighting for the title even if he wins. The UFC has made it abundantly clear that if you have one fight left on your contract then you are not fighting for the title even if you are the number one contender. They want fighters who are going to stick around and defend the title, not guys who are going to fight for the title, possibly win it, and then vacate it because they’re looking for more money. Huerta is stuck between a rock and a hard place right now and the only way out is to beat Florian on Saturday and that’s an extremely tall task.