Steven Kelliher recently had the chance to talk with Bellator's Roger Huerta about what I think is the biggest fight in the young promotion's history this Thursday night. See below for excerpts, as well as an update on who fans are picking to win each of the big fights for this card.
If you want to make your own fight picks, the new tapology.com has a great system for keeping track of all of it. Easy to use, clean layout where you can easily see how you're doing over time, compare against friends or other people, and lots more.
When Huerta signed on to participate in Bellator’s Season 2 Lightweight Tournament, fans salivated at the prospect of a dream match between the former UFC lightweight contender and Eddie Alvarez. Unfortunately, Huerta lost his semifinal bout to the unheralded Pat Curran, and it seemed as though the fight with Alvarez would never materialize.
While Curran was originally set to face Alvarez for the Lightweight Championship in Philidelphia, a training injury forced the Chicago native out of the contest, allowing Huerta to step in for a non-title superfight with the champion.
Asked what went wrong in his Unanimous Decision loss to Curran, Huerta was thoughtful. "I can’t really explain what was going on," he said about the May performance. "I’m not taking anything away from Curran. He performed well for his part, but I couldn’t be the best that I could be that night so I don’t know."
photo via MMA Weekly
“I’m not going to lie, maybe I didn’t do the best that I could in training,” Huerta said. “Honestly, I trained by myself for that fight. Before that fight I was with a whole team of guys who were all getting ready for fights, and then after the first fight of the tournament everyone was banged up and I didn’t have many training partners to get ready. It wasn’t the right preparation I should have been doing for Pat.”
With his tournament loss in his rear view mirror, Huerta is now firmly focused on the task at hand. “Right now I have Eddie Alvarez in front of me, it’s a wish come true, and I really couldn’t have asked for anything more than this,” he said.
“I’m going into this fight with everything I have in me,” a passionate Huerta said. “We’ve had a gruesome camp; it’s been the hardest training camp I’ve ever had and it’s all coming together. I’m going in there like this guy’s trying to kill me and kill my career because I don’t think I’ll ever get another shot like this.”
The rest of the Roger Huerta interview can be found here.
Bellator 33 Main Card Fight Predictions
As of the time this entry was published...
56% for Eddie Alvarez (most picking decision)
44% for Roger Huerta (evenly mixed dec/sub/tko)
83% for Ben Askren to become the new champ (most picking decision)
17% for defending champ Lyman Good (mix of decision, KO/TKO)
94% for Judo Olympian Rick Hawn in his Bellator debut (most picking KO/TKO)
6% for Levon Maynard
67% for WEC vet Deividas Taurosevicius (most picking decision)
33% for 2-time Bellator semifinalist Wilson Reis (mix of dec/sub/tko)
Have a hunch? Head to Tapology and enter your own picks and commentary, and track how you do.