I've purposely avoided saying anything about Roger Huerta's decision to walk away from the UFC in favor of a modeling and acting career because I was waiting to see if it was more than simply a negotiating ploy. It appears he is serious. On one hand I applaud his guts. He is one of the most marketable fighters in the UFC and he has real talent. A combination like that could lead to unprecedented heights. On the other hand, I think he is nuts. He is turning his back on his natural fighting instincts. Huerta possesses these in large quantities like the ability to sustain tons of punishment without giving in. Maybe he has natural modeling and acting instincts too. Personally, I've never seen his work, so I can't say for sure. It just seems like a risky move at this point.
I blame all of this on The Rock. He was the one who made non-actors think they could make the crossover from a sports background. Sure, there were others along the way like Jim Brown, Hulk Hogan, and Brian Bosworth, but it was The Rock who changed things. He went from being a ridiculous professional wrestler to an actor major studios can count on to turn a large profit. He is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of this generation. Athletes look at him as validation for their hopes and dreams to somehow make an enormous living without destroying their bodies along the way.
I wish Huerta the best of luck, but at the same time I feel like this time next year he will be back to being a full time fighter. The market is dead out there. Unless you are a proven commodity, studios aren't lining up to give you obscene amounts of money. Without having exposure as a current UFC fighter, I do not see Huerta making it. He is not a big enough public star yet. After the initial 1-2 roles end, the calls will dry up. He will have to make a decision about whether he wants to prove his worth as an actor, or go back and use his UFC popularity to land more acting roles.
I'm betting on the latter.