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'Tekken' Movie to Finally Hit U.S. Theaters in 2011

The film that nearly pulled Roger Huerta away from MMA and one of the reasons the Strikeforce middleweight title picture was left in limbo for nearly two years will finally be released next year in the U.S.

The U.S., Australia and New Zealand distribution rights for Tekken, which began filming in 2008 and premiered this past March in Japan, was recently acquired by Anchor Bay Entertainment, opening the way for the film to hit theaters outside of Japan.

Tekken is based on the popular video game fighting series of the same name and features former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le as Bruce Lee knock-off Marshall Law and Huerta as Spanish brawler Miguel Rojo.

Looking back, the film played a part in altering the careers of two talented fighters and company favorites as well as the plans of the UFC abd Strikeforce. Arguably it also paved the way for Bellator to make its biggest free agent acquisition.

In late 2008/early 2009, Huerta turned down a new five-fight deal with one fight left on his UFC contract in order to pursue a career in acting while he was still young. Huerta, who at time signed a three-fight development deal with Lion's Gate films, cited his small role in Tekken as the catalyst for his acting bug. Huerta, now under a fighting promotional contract with Bellator, would only make one more movie, Circle of Pain, a straight-to-DVD fighting flick with Heath Herring and Kimbo Slice released just last month.

When he signed on for Tekken, Le was coming off the most important fight of his MMA career, a middleweight title win over Frank Shamrock. Due to a number of movie commitments Le never once defended the belt and finally vacated the belt in September 2009. 21 months after the Shamrock win, Le returned to Strikeforce and suffered a shocking loss to Scott Smith. Le rematched Smith this past June and dominated Smith in a second-round TKO victory.