I’m Writing a Book About My Crush on Roger Huerta, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fighter…
For the first time in my life, I’m writing a book for myself. This is not for a client. This is not a ghostwriting project. It will have my actual name on the cover, listed as the author.
What’s the subject? I’m writing about a love obsession / crush that I developed on a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter named Roger Huerta, and how I became intrigued by War Machine – the guy who beat him.
Roger Huerta (left) and War Machine (right)
My interest in Roger began around September 2010 after he got into a street fight in Austin, TX. The incident was caught on an infamous YouTube video that circulated the ‘net. In that fight, Roger beat up a guy who hit a girl… and from there, he gained notoriety. I saw the video, Googled Roger, became enamored over his looks – and then started reading his story. Like my obsession with the Columbine High School shootings, this one grabbed me hard… and it stayed.
I’ve spent the last year reading everything I could about Roger, learning about the sport of MMA, and doing my best to understand the “real” him from a fan’s perspective. In July of this year, an opportunity arose in which I was able to meet him in person. I flew to Pharr, TX, and took an MMA training seminar that Roger was hosting. Afterwards, I managed to hang out with him and a group of his friends, got to talk to him for a bit, and felt a strong connection that led me to believe he and I could be good friends.
Roger Huerta, Michelle Lopez, and David Menne (Roger’s trainer)
Roger’s a celebrity in the MMA world, but many people outside of that arena may not know of him. He’s a former UFC and Bellator fighter, a role model to many people – especially in the Mexican community – and an overall good person. The story of his childhood abuse and neglect is what drew me in deeper. In him, I saw a person with deep, ancient wisdom who’d been hurt beyond measure. I wanted to understand how and why he had turned out to be such a good person… when he could have easily become a drain on society.
Fast forward to today. After 5 years of serving me well, my freelance writing/editing/research/OBM/whatever-you-want-to-call-it business is on the verge of complete failure. Revenue has continued to decrease over the past several months. At this time, I am no longer self-sufficient. (In fact, I’m officially getting evicted from my apartment home of 6 years on December 12, 2011, for non-payment of rent.) I had been supporting myself 100% through my at-home writing/editing business for 5 years, and in this past year, it’s all came crumbling down – mainly due to my struggle to convert sales, and due to my tendency to burn bridges. Both of those flaws, I am working on eliminating.
I worked hard to save my business – often skipping weekends and putting in 50-60 hours a week to market myself, trying to find work, to no avail. I cut my rates several times, and the response I always got was, “Your website is amazing! You’re a great writer! How can I work with you?… Oh… well, I can’t afford that right now. Maybe later.” Blah, blah, blah!
Bottom line: my business stopped bringing in enough money to pay the bills. And I got TIRED of having so many prospects contact me, only to not sign on the dotted F’n line. I was stuck.
It was not their fault, of course. It was my fault – for not learning how to better relate to people and put others’ needs first.
In the past few months, I’ve successfully run my bank account down to zero, I’ve depleted my retirement fund (which took years to build), I’ve maxed out my credit cards which used to be 0% and are now 17%+, my credit score is no longer “excellent,” and I’ve hit rock bottom as far as being self-sufficient goes. This is NOT where I want to be financially, and it’s a hard reality to swallow – but this is what I have to deal with.
MEANWHILE, I’m crazy in love with both these fighters and the warrior lifestyle. A couple months ago, I discovered Roger Huerta would be fighting against a guy named War Machine on November 26, in Pharr, TX, through a new MMA promotion called Ultimate Warrior Fighting (UWF). When the promoter told me about the fight before it was announced to the public, I immediately knew I had to be there. But didn’t know how I could afford it, or how I’d make it back to Pharr again.
Roger Huerta (left) and War Machine (right)
With absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain, I decided on November 23 to solicit “donations” from everyone I knew so I could raise enough gasoline money to drive 1200 miles from Denver, Colorado, to Pharr and watch the fight live. I blogged about it, put a “donate” button on my website, posted on forums, Facebook, Twitter, you name it.
To my surprise, several people donated and I was able to raise enough gasoline money to drive down there. I pawned my gold rings and my almost entire CD collection (including long-time favorites), because those material objects weren’t as important to me as making this trip.
The whole thing stirred up quite a bit of commotion in my circle. Some people told me I was crazy, irrational, and stupid for driving out there. Others told me they had once had a similar dream, but they never went for it – and now they regret it. Even War Machine tweeted at me, saying, “ill lend you a buck. Ill be well off after I smash your boy.”
I received support and encouragement from people on my email list who thought it was amazing that I was following a big dream of mine. Simultaneously, I got criticism from others who thought I was behaving irresponsibly and unprofessionally. I shared my story openly, with complete transparency, and it generated a huge response – like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
I was able to drive to Pharr and back, safely, with pretty much with no problems. It took me 20 straight hours to get there. I didn’t sleep. I got to Pharr approximately 2 hours before the fights started. I stayed at the house of one of Roger’s friends who I’d met back in July. The trip went exceptionally well…except for the ending, which I totally botched.
Roger lost his fight, which didn’t really surprise me – because I don’t think his heart is in fighting anymore. And I told him that on the phone!
On that trip, I somehow managed to get Roger to give me his cell phone number. We talked on the phone, we texted, we met up for dinner with his friends/family. We spent almost 1.5 hours together in one of the most uncomfortable conversations I’ve ever had in my life.
It all ended very strangely. I’m still trying to process it all. Roger said something that disturbed me, and I could no longer look at him the same way again. In my head, I was thinking, “He’s making a huge mistake.” I told him, “This was a stupid idea,” got up, and walked out on him and his family without saying thank you, or goodbye.
There’s more to the story. I’m leaving out a lot of details. And I’m putting it all into my book.
Bottom line: I had to travel back to Pharr to see what would happen. I “followed my heart.” The journey led me to a greater spiritual relationship with God and a better understanding of myself. If I hadn’t done it, I would have spent years wondering “what if?” If I hadn’t gone, I’d still be stuck in a rut, my business would still be failing, and I would not have gained the experiences that I did. So I went for it.
Overall, the weekend was extremely fun. I got to see War Machine kick Roger’s ass in the fight (Roger broke a rib). I watched DJ Fuentes beat the crap out of Nick “The Ghost” Gonzalez… that was a brutal and disgusting fight. I turned my eyes away from topless go-go dancers who teased the audience in between fights. Post-fight, I enjoyed hanging out with some great people at Lansky’s, flirted a bit with an absolutely gorgeous, tall Mexican lawyer who thought I was stoned because my eyes were so red from no sleep, had a couple vodkas that were too sweet, devoured steak and mashed potatoes that were to die for. And got some juicy details about Roger that have not been shared with the public.
Two interesting things happened post-fight: 1) Roger has officially blocked me from Facebook and Twitter, and doesn’t want any further contact with me. 2) I am now officially a War Machine fan. Can you say “drama”?
I would love to share the entire story with you. I’m working diligently to turn it all into a book. Maybe even several books. This will be a great story, and I have the feeling it will be huge.
Thanks to everyone who supported and encouraged me to follow this dream, regardless of how insane it seemed. I hope my bravery inspires you to follow your own dream – whatever that may be.
P.S. Here’s a picture of Roger and I hanging out at a comedy club in downtown McAllen. I could be wrong… but I have the feeling this story isn’t over yet…
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