Andre Winner Released by the UFC: Who Could Be Next Following UFC 133?

Michael MagoulisCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2011

Andre Winner Released by the UFC: Who Could Be Next Following UFC 133?

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    Following his loss to Anthony Njokuani at UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber 2, Andre Winner has been released from the UFC according to MMAWeekly.

    The former Ultimate Fighter finalist followed his close decision-loss to Ross Pearson with consecutive wins over Rolando Delgado and Rafaello Oliveira. However, his three most recent bouts ended with losses to Nik Lentz, Dennis Siver, and Anthony Njokuani.

    Following the Lentz loss, where Winner was easily outgrappled, he was given consecutive fights with strikers, but was easily dominated in the standup game as well.

    Winner's most recent loss to Njokuani saw him nearly finished multiple times in what eventually ended in a lopsided decision.

    There are several fighters that are also in danger of being cut if they don't impress in their next performance. Let's take a look at who could be gone following the next two fight cards.

Yoshihiro Akiyama

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    Although Yoshihiro Akiyama has been a part of three consecutive Fight of the Night performances, it wasn't necessarily his efforts that led to those bonus checks, as he has a tendency to lose his stamina early in all of his fights.

    His first performance in the UFC was a split decision win over Alan Belcher in what was one of the biggest robberies of the year.

    "Sexyama" followed his lackluster debut with a submission loss to Chris Leben who was fighting just two weeks after his bout with Aaron Simpson.

    In his most recent performance, Akiyama was easily bested by Michael Bisping who was able to keep the fight standing and outstrike the judoka for three rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory.

    After three fights, compiling a 1-2 record with his only win coming via controversial split decision, Yoshihiro Akiyama needs a win in his upcoming bout with Vitor Belfort at UFC 133 to keep his job with the UFC. 

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

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    Antonio Rogerio Nogueira entered the UFC with a bang, finishing the highly touted Luiz Cane in the first round via TKO, bringing his record to 18-3.

    However, he followed that Knockout of the Night performance with an unimpressive 1-2 record. A controversial split decision win over late replacement Jason Brilz in May of 2010 was Nogueira's last win.

    Since, he's lost consecutive fights to contenders Ryan Bader and Phil Davis who were able to expose his lack of wrestling.

    Nogueira's upcoming bout with fellow striker Rich Franklin at UFC 133 could result in being cut if he doesn't walk away with a win.

Mike Brown

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    Sadly, Mike Brown has had a significant fall since losing his WEC Featherweight Championship Jose Aldo. Before losing the belt, Brown was considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, compiling 10 wins in a row and a 22-4 overall record including two wins over Urijah Faber.  

    He's just 2-4 in his last six bouts. He followed a knockout loss to Manvel Gamburyan with a TKO over Cole Province, but has lost consecutive decisions to Diego Nunes and Rani Yahya in his last two fights.

    His next opponent will be the well-rounded Nam Phan at UFC 133, which will mark his third UFC bout.

Dan Hardy

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    Despite being a former No. 1 contender, Dan Hardy followed his 12-1 run—with his one loss coming via disqualification—with consecutive losses to Georges St. Pierre, Carlos Condit, and Anthony Johnson.

    While his grappling ability was the cause for two of those losses, Hardy was knocked out for the first time in his career by "The Natural Born Killer" Carlos Condit.

    Even though he hasn't won since a decision victory over Mike Swick in November of 2009, Hardy will be headlining UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle in which he'll battle veteran Chris Lytle.

    It's absolutely necessary that Hardy walk away with a win if he wishes to remain with the promotion or he could be joining fellow Rough House teammates Paul Daley and Andre Winner outside of the UFC. 

Leonard Garcia

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    This shouldn't really be much of a surprise to anyone. Leonard Garcia hasn't won a decisive bout since knockout out Jens Pulver in November of 2008.

    It's kind of a joke at this point. He's gone 3-4-1 in his last eight fights, but each of his wins has been via split decision.

    While the Chan Sung Jung fight was one of the best fights of the year, many felt the "Korean Zombie" should have walked away with the win. Even the draw with George Roop was controversial.

    The win over Nam Phan was considered to be the Robbery of the Year by many media outlets and even resulted in the UFC awarding Phan his win bonus.

    In his most recent bout, a rematch with Jung, he lost via submission.

    Garcia is always extremely exciting to watch and fights with a ton of heart, but if it weren't for the horrible MMA judging system, he would have been out of a job a long time ago.

    A loss to the inexperienced Alex Caceres at UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle will certainly result in his release from the UFC.