Coming Off Win Over Huerta, War Machine Fully Focused on MMA


Roger 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 the Sherdog 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 still.”

Machine, who changed his name from Jon Koppenhaver, served a one-year sentence for felony assault. He has no plans to do anymore time.

“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 being.”

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 page.

“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 them anymore.”

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).

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