Huerta-Maynard in Works for September

By Loretta Hunt Jun 25, 2009
Roger Huerta and Gray Maynard are being eyed for a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night 19 on Sept. 16 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, has learned from a source familiar with the plans. UFC Fight Night 19 will serves as a lead-in for season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter” on Spike TV.

Huerta (20-2-1, 1 NC) turned down a new five-fight contract with the UFC in January to pursue a career in acting. The popular bilingual fighter -- who was the first mixed martial artist to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated -- has been missing in action ever since. Huerta won five bouts in 2007, but fought only once in 2008 -- a unanimous decision loss to No. 1 contender Kenny Florian at UFC 87 last August. Huerta turned down two UFC fights in 2008, citing family and scheduling issues.

If signed, the September bout would complete the last fight on Huerta's contract with the UFC. A three-month non-compete renegotiation period is then expected, then a matching period in which the fighter can court offers from outside promotions that the UFC can counter.

An Xtreme Couture protégé, Maynard (7-0) has had a steady climb up the 155-pound ranks since his participation on “The Ultimate Fighter 5” in 2007. The three-time Michigan Sate All-American has gone 5-0 in the Octagon following his controversial June 2007 contest against Robert Emerson, which was eventually ruled a no contest. Maynard's most recent victories were against Rich Clementi and fellow wrestler Jim Miller.
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