In early 2010, Dan Hardy was fighting for UFC gold. Now, in the headlining bout of UFC Live 5 on Aug. 14, he might be fighting for his UFC career.

The British welterweight star has gone on a three-fight skid, beginning with his defeat at the hands of champion Georges St-Pierre. He has since met failure against Carlos Condit and Anthony Johnson. It’s not easy to keep a UFC contract with four consecutive losses, a fact of which Hardy is undoubtedly aware.

“The Outlaw” isn’t the only main-eventer who will enter the Octagon at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee looking to avoid further setbacks and a possible pink slip. His opponent, Chris Lytle, is also coming off a disappointing outing. Lytle dropped a unanimous decision to Brian Ebersole at UFC 127 and would like to avoid launching into a losing streak of his own.

While the UFC has opted to give a pair of welterweights fresh off losses the featured spot on its latest broadcast, the real highlight of the show might lie in the co-headliner. Jim Miller brings a 20-2 mark and a seven-fight winning streak dating back more than two years into the Octagon, yet he still has not earned a title bid. That could change when he faces former WEC lightweight kingpin Benson Henderson. “Smooth” has been stellar in his last 12 fights, racking up 11 wins to his one loss, which came against Anthony Pettis. While the main event might have employment implications, this co-headliner has the intrigue of title implications.

Rounding out the event’s main card, which airs live on the Versus network beginning at 9 p.m. ET, former WEC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone will lock horns with Charles Oliveira, while Duane Ludwig battles Amir Sadollah in welterweight action.

Here, as always, to break down all of the action is The MMA Corner’s round table panel. This week’s fine group of prognosticators consists of Corey Adams, Brian McKenna and Elliot Tiernay.

WW: Amir Sadollah (5-2) vs. Duane Ludwig (20-11)

McKenna: Sadollah exploded onto the MMA scene by winning “The Ultimate Fighter” season seven after never fighting professionally prior to the show. Throughout the tournament, Sadollah defeated Gerald Harris, Matt Brown and C.B. Dollaway twice. A black belt in Sambo, his grappling is significantly better than his striking, as he won three of his four fights on the show by submission, and two of his five professional victories have also come by tapping out his opponent.

In the opposite corner on Sunday will be Ludwig. After spending a lot of time fighting at lightweight, the Colorado native returned to welterweight in his last fight, a victory against Nick Osipczak. “Bang” likes to live up to his nickname, ending 10 of his fights by knockout.

This is the first fight that will be televised on Versus, and hopefully it will start things off strong. While “Bang” has lost five times by submission, I see him surviving multiple submission attempts by Sadollah, who eventually earns the decision victory.

Adams: Indeed, the main card is set to start off with a “Bang” as Ludwig and TUF 7 winner Sadollah look to be considered in the upper echelon of the welterweight division.

Ludwig comes from a Muay Thai background and has also competed as a kickboxer. Having fought largely at lightweight, “Bang” made his return to welterweight a success, but now has to face a solid fighter in Sadollah. This is a big fight for Ludwig and he needs to defeat someone of Amir’s caliber to advance up the rankings.

Many people involved with the UFC know who Sadollah is. The UFC highly promoted him, and rightfully so, after his impressive time on the reality show. The black belt in Sambo is comfortable wherever the fight goes, and will need to be well-rounded against a guy like the veteran Ludwig.

Amir Sadollah (r) (Tracy Lee/Combat Lifestyle)

This fight should be closely contested, but my hunch is that Sadollah will prevail once again. This may be one of the toughest tests in his career, but he has faced adversity many times, so he should be focused when he steps in the Octagon. A finish will not happen here, as Sadollah earns a close decision win instead.

Tiernay: Kicking off the night’s main card, Sadollah and Ludwig look to finally square off against each other after they were originally supposed to meet at UFC Fight Night 24. Ludwig had to pull out of the fight due to injury and DaMarques Johnson stepped in on two weeks’ notice. Sadollah submitted Johnson due to elbow strikes.

After recovering from his sternum injury, Ludwig has gone 1-2 in his last three fights in the UFC.

These two Muay Thai experts will bring an entertaining back-and-forth fight, but I see Sadollah getting the better of the exchanges. The TUF favorite should be able to pull it off by unanimous decision.

LW: Charles Oliveira (14-1) vs. Donald Cerrone (15-3)

Adams: This will be one of the most exciting fights on the card as two lightweights who love to scrap go toe-to-toe.

Charles Oliveira (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

I personally am looking forward to this fight, for the fact that Cerrone isn’t afraid of anyone and Oliveira is looking to recover after a no-contest in June.

It was very unfortunate for Oliveira at UFC Live 4, as he landed an illegal knee to Nik Lentz, causing the fight to be ruled a no-contest. “Do Bronx” now gets a chance to step in on short notice for the injured Paul Taylor to prove to the UFC that he is here to stay. The Brazilian is a brown belt in BJJ, with seven of his 14 wins coming by way of submission.

Cerrone is arguably the toughest guy in the sport. A country boy at heart, “Cowboy” trains in New Mexico under Greg Jackson and owns his own ranch. Aside from his personal life, Cerrone is a former top contender in the WEC and is 2-0 since joining the UFC. He possesses a very unique style of fighting, using his Muay Thai to take his opponents down and working to submit them. Cerrone isn’t the type of fighter to stand and trade, never having earned a knockout.

Cerrone will more than likely be the favorite in this fight, but I would not be surprised if Oliveira takes him out. As long as “The Cowboy” can avoid the heavy shots from Oliveira, he will be able to wear down his opponent en route to a decision win.

Tiernay: I don’t usually start off saying this, but this will be Fight of the Night on Sunday, hands down.

After an “un”entertaining win against Vagner Rocha at UFC 131, the “Cowboy” received a much better match-up in Oliveira. In a fight that Rocha wanted to bring to the ground immediately, Cerrone kept the fight standing and effectively used his jab against Rocha to keep his distance.

At UFC Live 4, Oliveira and Lentz put on a Fight of the Night performance that was later ruled a no-contest due to an illegal knee that Oliveira delivered to a downed Lentz. Having attended the event, I believe it was a fight that shouldn’t have ended the way it did due to the referee’s bad judgement. Oliveira wanted to get right back inside the Octagon, and is stepping up on short notice to take on Cerrone.

Cerrone works for a submission from Paul Kelly's back (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

I see this fight being a back-and-forth battle with both fighters attempting a variety of submissions and smooth transitions. Cerrone will have to avoid the Muay Thai of Oliveira and pick away at the Brazilian on his feet. Both fighters have incredible cardio and I’m getting excited already thinking about this match-up. I think Cerrone will be able to do enough to earn a split decision victory.

McKenna: The last time we saw Oliveria was during a fight that became a no-contest. Initially ruled a win, the victory was overturned because of a blatent illegal knee that was thrown by the Brazilian. That fight left a sour taste in a lot of fans’ mouths because of how intentional it felt. The 21-year-old looks to redeem himself and win back the fans in this fight by using his jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai skills that have helped him finish 13 of 14 opponents in his victories.

While fighting in the WEC, Cerrone challenged for lightweight gold three times. Those three fights yielded the only three losses of his career, as he fell short against Jamie Varner and twice versus Ben Henderson. The 28-year-old trains with Jackson’s Submission Fighting and has 12 career submission victories to show from it. He does not have any victories by knockout, but do not sleep on his hands, as he has one of the best trainers in the game. Currently riding a four-fight winning streak, “The Cowboy” will look to inch closer towards a title belt with a victory this Sunday.

If you are neutral to the fighters in this fight, your allegiance is probably going to land against Oliveira due to the outcome in his last fight. The crowd will be behind Cerrone, which will help propel him to a submission victory against the Brazilian.

LW: Jim Miller (20-2) vs. Benson Henderson (13-2)

Tiernay: Since losing by unanimous decision to Gray “The Bully” Maynard at UFC 96, Miller has gone on an incredible seven-fight win streak in the UFC’s lightweight division. The loss to the “The Bully” is Miller’s only setback in the UFC, as he holds a 9-1 record with two Submission of the Night wins and one Fight of the Night win over Matt Wiman. Miller is a tough-as-nails grappler and has had great success implementing his game plan in his Octagon encounters. It has been mentioned that if Miller gets a win over Henderson, he will be next in line for a shot at the lightweight title.

Jim Miller (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

Since the merger of the UFC and WEC, Benson “Smooth” Henderson had his first UFC showing at the record-setting UFC 129 in Toronto. Henderson kicked off the main card by scoring a unanimous decision over Canada’s own Mark Bocek. Henderson effectively stopped Bocek’s takedown attempts while using his clinch and Muay Thai against the cage. It was Henderson’s first win since losing the WEC lightweight title to Anthony “Showtime” Pettis and receiving the kick heard around the world at the last-ever WEC show. Not the way Henderson planned to go out, but has gone to his faith to take on his next challenge.

With both fighters having great wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu backgrounds, they will look to keep the fight standing while controlling their opponent against the cage. This fight has the potential to go either way, but Miller’s experience in the UFC and ability to implement his game plan are his strengths. Miller knows what’s on the table with a win, and he rightly deserves the next shot at the title. Miller by unanimous decision.

McKenna: Most new MMA fans know Henderson for the wrong reason: being on the wrong end of the “Showtime Kick” on the final WEC card this past December. Prior to that fight, “Smooth” had held the WEC lightweight title and was one of the best fighters in the promotion. He had displayed great submission skills and flexibility in his bouts. Sure, the Colorado native lost his belt in that fight against Pettis, but he didn’t lose his will to get better, as he bounced back in his UFC debut at UFC 129 against Bocek. Now the former champion has a huge opportunity on his hands because a win on Sunday will likely put him in the top five of the division and simultaneously remove someone else from the top five.

Ben Henderson (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)

It is rare for a fighter to have two career winning streaks of eight fights, but if Miller can claim victory on Sunday, that is exactly what he will achieve. What is even rarer is that the seven-fight winning streak that he is currently on does not include any sniff of a title shot. The lightweight division has become crowded as ever with the WEC merger last year, but six of the victories occured before that even happened. Opposing the New Jersey-based fighter will be one of the incoming WEC fighters who will try to cut short his goal of UFC gold. At just 27-years-old, Miller has had a great career amassing 20 wins and 11 by submission. The only fights that he has lost are against UFC lightweight champion and No. 1 contender Gray Maynard.

In my opinion, this fight should be the headlining fight on the card. There is potential to award a title shot as a result of this fight which makes it way more important of a fight, and the fighters involved are definitely main event worthy. Look for this to be the Fight of the Night, as these fighters enter a three-round war in which Miller is victorious by decision.

Adams: I agree with the statement made by Brian: This should be the main event of the evening. Any fight in the lightweight division is huge, as a loss could put you way down in the rankings.

This fight has the makings to go anywhere in the cage. Two 27-year-olds who are quickly rising up the stacked lightweight divison will look to put on a performance worthy of earning a title shot against either Frankie Edgar or Gray Maynard. Miller is in a good spot to be next in line with a win over former WEC champion Henderson, but it won’t be an easy task by any means.

As of right now, though, I don’t see anyone defeating the New Jersey boy Miller. His run of seven wins in a row is very impressive and my hunch is that he will extend that to eight. He will have to be aware of the high-level style of “Smooth,” but will come one step closer to a title shot with a unanimous decision victory.

WW: Dan Hardy (23-9) vs. Chris Lytle (30-18-5)

Adams: The main event features two talented welterweights who could possibly be fighting for their jobs. Aside from that, it shapes up to be a solid match-up with Hardy being a powerful striker and Lytle possessing high-level submission maneuvers.

“The Outlaw” Hardy has to win this fight, plain and simple. If he doesn’t, his UFC career will be in jeopardy, as he has posted losses in his last three fights. Some may argue that one of those fights was against the great Georges St-Pierre and shouldn’t impact his losing streak, but for Dana White and the UFC, it doesn’t matter. If a fighter loses multiple fights in a row, they are more than likely released. Hardy needs to be as focused as ever in this fight and be the smarter fighter.

The veteran Lytle has had an up-and-down career, just never being able to get on a lengthy winning streak, until recently where he had been victorious in four straight fights. That streak came to an end at UFC 127, however, where he lost to Brian Ebersole by decision. “Lights Out” has always been a performer when he steps into the Octagon and is second among total fight bonuses awarded in the UFC. Lytle will more than likely look to take Hardy down to avoid the boxing of “The Outlaw” and work for a submission.

I just don’t believe Lytle will be successful in taking down the Brit. Hardy has been training with UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson as of late, which should improve his wrestling game. I see this being a fight that remains on the feet, with Hardy winning the exchanges, and earning a decision win worthy of Fight of the Night.

McKenna: At the end of the night at UFC 105, Hardy held a record of 23-6(1) after defeating Mike Swick by decision. He was awarded a title shot for his next fight and was completely dominated by GSP. After the title fight, he lost consecutive fights to Carlos Condit and Anthony Johnson which marked three consecutive losses, a dangerous line to tip toe as a UFC fighter. He was retained for at least one more fight, a bout which could be his last with the promotion if he is defeated. Because he has lost three straight, it is a bit shocking to see that he is headlining a fight card, but the knockout capability that he carries in his hands could be the very reason as to why he is where he is.

Chris Lytle (l) (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

Lytle was riding a four-fight winning streak until squaring off against Ebersole. It was a bout in which he had prepared to take on Condit, but Condit had to withdraw from the fight about two weeks’ prior. It is hard to adjust your training camp for a new fighter on short notice, so cut “Lights Out” some slack, but it definitely hurt him in the long run. The Indiana native holds a second-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is not afraid to use it, winning 21 of his fights by submission while never having been submitted. Lytle also has a good wrestling background, which he will look to use in the fight.

Hardy lost to GSP and Anthony Johnson because of his inability to defend the takedown and escape from the wrestling. Considering the grappling background that Lytle has, it would be foolish for him to try to stand and bang with the boxer. Lytle will earn his 22nd victory by submission and that will likely be the end of the road for “The Outlaw” in the UFC.

Tiernay: Well, here we go with the main event of the evening. Can this main event be as memorable as the last headliner on the Versus network between Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry? I don’t think so, but typically both fighters will have at least won their last fight to earn the main event spot, but as my fellow panelists mentioned, both are coming off losses (a few extra losses in Hardy’s case). Both fighters are not known for their wrestling and that will be to Hardy’s benefit, to say the least. Hardy and Lytle should engage in a stand-up war, as that is what each fighter prefers, but Lytle may have some tricks up his sleeve for “The Outlaw.”

Lytle’s background is in boxing, where he held the Indiana Boxing Assocation’s light heavyweight title in the early 2000’s. People will be surprised to know just how good Lytle is on the ground. Lytle is a second-degree black belt in BJJ and scored back-to-back submission wins over Brian Foster and Matt Brown in 2010 (If you have not already, check out the mounted triangle/straight armbar Lytle used to submit Brown). Lytle has had five Fight of the Night’s, two Submission of the Night’s and one Knockout of the Night during his 9-9 career in the UFC.

Hardy has now lost three straight and looks to keep his UFC career alive. It is no secret, but most British fighters seem to struggle with wrestlers. Hardy has not shown any improvement in his wrestling, even though he has been training with Nelson as of late. I do not see this fight ending well for Hardy. I do not want to see it happen, but “The Outlaw” will most likely get his walking papers after Sunday night. Lytle will use his professional boxing experience, jabbing away at the Brit and taking “The Outlaw” down against the cage. Lytle will try a few submission attempts and I expect Hardy to fight through them as he did against GSP. Lytle in the end will be too much for Hardy and hopefully the Brit can make it back into the UFC. Lytle by unanimous decision.

Top Photo: Dan Hardy (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)