TMZ loves the UFC. And it especially loves it for the potential that mixed martial artists may lose their cool, act like an animal and brawl in public. It hasn't happened yet but you can bet the site is "covering" the UFC for just that reason.
In March, TMZ got a small break when former UFC fighter Jon Koppenhaver went off the deep end getting into a bar fight and being dragged away in a spit hood. It got plenty of mileage from Tito Ortiz's alleged assault on his wife Jenna Jameson in April. Now it's running with Roger Huerta's role in brawl outside an Austin bar.
Using a grainy video as evidence TMZ reported:
Twenty-seven-year-old Huerta — who was once featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated — was in front of a bar in Austin around 2 AM on Saturday morning ... when some other people began fighting. Roger was near the scuffle ... when he saw one of the men involved punch a female who was standing near the ruckus. Once Huerta sees the woman collapse to the ground — he instantly tries to confront the attacker saying, "You just punched a [expletive] girl."
Chaos ensues and people scramble after the fighters, blocking the camera — but seconds later ... a shirtless Huerta can be seen finishing his attack on the other man ... who is sprawled out on the street. People rush in to aid the bloody man on the ground — who eventually gets off the pavement — as Huerta walks away from the battle ground.
TMZ even got a comment on the brawl from Huerta's former boss UFC president Dana White.
Dana tells TMZ, "In no way do I condone street fighting, but when a guy puts his hands on a woman he deserves to be knocked the [expletive] out. Good for Roger."
Cage Potato broke down the video and says it appears that TMZ altered the footage.
Here's a digitally enhanced (to improve clarity) version. The photo on the left is a screen capture we grabbed from the video. The one on the right is a still frame used by TMZ which appears to have been altered to add a tribal tattoo to match the one that adorns Huerta's left shoulder. He also seems to be wearing an unbuttoned long sleeved shirt that is flowing back behind him.
They call the whole story from TMZ irresponsible:
I find it amazing that TMZ, who also have a daily television show and undoubtedly have access to far superior video editing equipment than my Macbook Pro, were unable to clean up the video quality of the stomp allegedly administered by Huerta, yet they pulled these clean screen captures from the beginning of the video to perhaps misleadingly make readers believe it was Roger who put his foot down on the guy's head, when it is unclear exactly who is the assaulter in the video.
Legit or not, other national news services are running with the story. CBS News posted a story Thursday afternoon, "Roger Huerta Street Fight: Video Apparently Shows UFC Fighter in Brawl".
As you can see, the former UFC star is referred to as a UFC fighter. Although in the first two paragraphs, he's called an ex-UFC fighter.
Apparently Huerta isn't angry. In fact, he's embracing the whole thing. He sounded proud of what went down.
"I just don’t think that it's right to hit a woman. Period," Huerta told TMZ.
"I approached the man calmly and said, 'Do you know what you just did? You just knocked out this girl.'
But Huerta claims the other guy responded, "[Expletive] you, [expletive] these bitches, I'll knock out any [expletive] bitch that I wanna [expletive] knock out, I’ll knock your [expletive] bitch ass out."
Huerta added, "... and as he's saying this, he's taking off his shirt ... and at that point I was like, alright.' I got the better of him and I left," Huerta said.
The 27-year-old explained, "If that was my mom, if that was my sister, my spouse, anyone … I would’ve wanted someone to step in and do something about it."
Don't be shocked if the fighter makes his way onto the gossip/crime blotter interview circuit soon. This seems like a story Greta Van Susteren, Nancy Grace, Rick Sanchez or Jane Velez-Mitchell would be all over.
Huerta left the UFC in 2009. He's gone 1-1 with his new promotion Bellator.