Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Jon Fitch is a grinder. There is nothing wrong with that, and he proved that it can make for an exciting fight. Fitch picked up a decision victory over Erick Silva in their UFC 153 welterweight bout, but it was one of the best fights of the year. Fitch was in major danger in the second round, seemingly dead-to-rights in a rear naked choke, but he fought his way through and almost finished Silva a bunch of times over the second half of the fight. The third was pure domination, similar to Fitch's third round against B.J. Penn, and should have been a 10-8. The judges had it 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28 for Fitch. Still though, Silva might have lost but he definitely proved that he can hang with the best in the UFC, and he is still a top prospect in my eyes.
Silva threw a knee right away to start the bout, but Fitch just charged through it and threw Silva to the mat. Fitch took his back and tried to sink hooks, but Silva defended well. Fitch held onto Silva's back and landed a bunch of rights to Silva's head. Fitch grabbed a standing arm triangle, but Silva slipped it. Silva landed a nice front kick as they reset, and a huge right hand connected as well. Silva tried to separate from Fitch but Fitch chased him down and grounded him. Fitch landed a nice elbow on the break. Silva looked for knees with the thai clinch, but Fitch grabbed a knee and took it back to the floor briefly. Fitch grinded away against the fence, and took his back again before the end of the round.
Silva looked for a spinning attack early, but missed. Fitch landed a couple of nice uppercuts in close, but Silva got Fitch down. He looked to lock Fitch up, but got reversed. Silva reversed right back and landed some punches from behind. Silva separated and they reset in the center. Fitch pushed Silva against the cage and looked for a takedown. Fitch slipped and Silva took his back, got him down, sunk hooks, and looked for a choke. Silva sunk the choke, but Fitch somehow fought it off. Fitch waited a little while, managed to reverse an exhausted Silva. Fitch snatched up an armbar and cranked, but Silva used the cage to flip over and survive as the round ended.
Fitch dragged an exhausted Silva down early in the third, and landed huge punches with back control. Fitch looked for the choke, and returned to the punches to soften him up. Silva rolled through and they got back up briefly, but Silva snatched up a guillotine. Fitch got out and pounded away from the top some more. Silva got up, but Fitch dragged him right back down and unloaded with punches again. Fitch finally got full hooks and just battered Silva with punches and elbows from mount after Silva rolled over. Silva managed to squirm out, and Fitch locked up a front choke. The horn sounded before he could crank on it though.