Huerta is a tough opponent on any night.
He’s an especially significant challenge, however, for someone who
hasn’t fought since spending a year in jail. Still, after his
release in July, War Machine
(Pictured) fought Huerta on Nov. 26 and stopped him with punches in
the third round.
“I was a big underdog going into that fight, especially coming off
a year in jail, but I wasn’t too worried about it,” Machine told
Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “Huerta and I are very
similar fighters. I think we have kind of the same style. We both
move forward a lot. I thought I had better jiu-jitsu than him and I
was a little bigger and stronger, so it actually wasn’t a fight
that I was very worried about, even though he’s a real big name and
stuff. But it’s a very big win. I’m super pumped about it
Machine, who changed his name from Jon Koppenhaver, served a
one-year sentence for felony assault. He has no plans to do anymore
“I don’t want to go back there,” he said. “I don’t want to be away
from my sport and my friends and my family. Jail’s for losers, man.
There’s nothing to do in there. All you do is sit in there and rot.
It’s a waste of life. I’m definitely staying on the right track.
That’s not a place for me. It’s not a place for any human
However, jail did give him plenty of time to think, and his
thoughts kept coming back to MMA.
“I missed it so much,” Machine said. “I saw all my friends out
there fighting. My old roommate was Dominick
Cruz. While I was in jail, he became a UFC champ. I used to
live with that guy, and we were both broke bums. To see my friends
like that become UFC champs and all my friends out there winning
and even my students out there fighting and winning, it makes you
miss it so much more. It makes you just want to really push it to
your own limit.”
Machine’s best days in MMA could be ahead of him. After beating
Huerta, the 30-year-old signed with the Bellator Fighting
Championships. Bellator had actually signed Machine once before but
released him after he made controversial comments about President
Barack Obama. Machine explained that he recently had a conference
call with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, and now they’re on the same
“Basically, they told me, ‘We don’t want you to change. We know
you’re a wildman. Still be you,’” he said. “But they basically told
me that I need to refrain from the super crazy Tweets. I know where
to draw the line. I can still say my funny stuff and my crazy
stuff, but the ones that are really, really going to cause a big
stir, the things that are really outside the box, I just don’t say
Machine has also decided to end his acting career in pornography.
At this point, he’s focused solely on MMA.
“I’m really trying to get back,” he said. “I think I’m an A-level
fighter. I’m going to scare away big corporate sponsors and I’m
going to scare away leagues like Bellator and the UFC or whoever if
I’m doing that kind of stuff. That’s why, man. I want to put that
behind and just clean my image up.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 1:00:17).