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Efrain Escudero Cut by UFC, Looking at Bellator, Strikeforce

Efrain EscuderoFive days after losing to Charles Oliveira, former Ultimate Fighter winner Efrain Escudero has been released by the UFC.

Escudero said on Twitter that he learned of the news Monday and is already planning to talk to a couple of other mixed martial arts promotions.

"Hello true fan I was released by the Ufc today speaking to strikeforce and bellator," Escudero tweeted. "Taking a week off and make my way back!!!!!"

Although he has lost two of his last three fights, the UFC's decision to cut Escudero is a surprise. He's still a talented lightweight, a likable guy and just 24 years old. With all the promotional muscle the UFC has put behind Escudero dating to his Ultimate Fighter days, it seems like a rash decision to release him now.

But Strikeforce and Bellator would both be fine alternatives for Escudero, and he'd beef up the lightweight division in either promotion -- at least, he will if he can make weight, which he didn't do for the Oliveira fight. Escudero has a good chance of getting a few wins in some of the smaller shows, and it may not be long before he returns to the Octagon.