UFC 153 fight card primer: Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva

Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

The third bout of the UFC 153 main card is a classic battle between old school vs. new school. One guy has been sitting in the top tier of the division for years now, but has something major to prove after getting knocked out in a few seconds after a return from injury. The other guy is one of the top prospects in a packed welterweight division and is looking to bust into the top ten with the biggest victory of his career. Jon Fitch (23-4-1, 1 NC, 13-2-1 UFC) takes on Erick Silva (14-2, 1 NC), 2-1 UFC).

Fitch currently sits in the number 7 position in the Bloody Elbow MMA rankings, while Silva is in the 20 spot. The bout can be viewed on the pay per view portion of the UFC 153 card, which starts at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

How do these two stack up?

Fitch: 34 years old | 6'0" | 74" reach
Silva: 28 years old | 5'11" | 73" reach

What have these two done recently?

Fitch: L - Johny Hendricks (KO) | D - B.J. Penn | W - Thiago Alves (UD)
Silva: W - Charlie Brenneman (SUB) | L - Carlo Prater (DQ) | W - Luis Ramos (KO)

How did these two get here?

Fitch has been grinding away in the UFC for seven years now, stacking up 13 wins while only losing twice - to Georges St. Pierre in a title bout, and in 12 seconds to his most recent opponent Johny Hendricks. He has a reputation as a boring fighter due to his grinding style that doesn't produce a lot of finishes, but he's undoubtedly effective in the cage. He doesn't get enough credit for his striking and crafty takedowns, and honestly deserves more respect from UFC fans. His last bout didn't help his case though, and he now badly needs a victory over Silva to re-ignite his hopes at a second title shot.

Erick "Indio" Silva was the number three-rated welterweight prospect in the 2011 Bloody Elbow Scouting Report and has looked hugely impressive in his three UFC bouts to date. He knocked out Luis Ramos in 40 seconds in his debut and did a cool running cage flip. Then be blasted his way through Carlo Prater, but was inexplicably disqualified due to punches to the back of the head. He shook that off though and went back to his winning ways by tearing through Charlie Brenneman and submitting him late in the first round of their UFC on FX 2 bout. He'll look for the biggest win of his career tonight over the grinder.

Why should you care?

Top prospect vs. longtime grinding veteran. This is one of those crossroads fights you don't see very often in the welterweight division. Will the old guard stay strong in the rankings? Can the new blood break through the glass ceiling? This bout is awesome, and you better like it or I'll kick you.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 153:

UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar fight card - Mookie Alexander

UFC 153 betting lines - Tim Burke

UFC 153 Bloody Elbow staff picks and predictions - Tim Burke

Minotauro Nogueira vs. Dave Herman Dissection - Dallas Winston

Glover Teixeira vs. Fabio Maldonado Dissection - Dallas Winston

Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva Dissection - Dallas Winston

Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado Dissection - Dallas Winston

Demian Maia vs. Rick Story Dissection - Dallas Winston

FX prelim card previews - Fraser Coffeen

Video: UFC 153 weigh-in results

Silva vs. Bonnar through the Cobb vs. Holmes lens - Brent Brookhouse

Can Bonnar make his name against Silva? - Fraser Coffeen

Erick Silva discusses Jon Fitch - Tim Burke

Anderson Silva: 5 signature moves - Jack Slack

Video: Countdown to UFC 153

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