Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva is one of the most intriguing matchups scheduled for UFC 153 this Saturday.
One is a veteran trying to reinvent himself within an evolving division, the other is a vastly talented prospect trying to solidify his championship worthiness.
Whether Fitch is able to break Silva or Silva is able to keep the fight standing, this welterweight showdown is going to be a hard-nosed battle of attrition.
Here's how the head-to-toe breakdown plays out. Enjoy, and don't miss this fight.
Currently one of the quickest rising strikers in the UFC, Brazil's Erick Silva has a complete advantage over Jon Fitch in the standup department.
Silva can sling punches in bunches, attack at any moment and use every facet of his striking game to utilize his elite speed and power as a welterweight.
If the highly-touted prospect wants to win, he'll look to keep this fight standing. Fitch simply doesn't possess the discipline, precision and fortitude on his feet that Silva does.
Significant Advantage: Silva
Jon Fitch's grappling game has held up against some of the best fighters in the world.
From BJ Penn to Thiago Alves, Fitch has utilized his cardio and experience to successfully pull off worthwhile transitions against some of the best welterweights around.
It's his biggest asset.
Even though he's not the greatest grappler on the planet, Fitch succeeds by imposing his will and grinding opponents down, consequently breaking them and scoring points from the top.
If Erick Silva wants to stay out of trouble, this is what he needs to look out for.
Significant Advantage: Fitch
Jon Fitch is a grinder.
He edges out his opponents on the backbone of world-class attrition.
For Fitch, a fight that doesn't involve tactical takedowns and brutal slams fails to display his true talents.
Over the years, he's been able to mature as a wrestler by training alongside Josh Koscheck. It's helped him focus on his skills as a takedown specialist and a guy who thrives on bringing a fight to the mat.
Whether or not the new and improved Fitch will impose these skills has yet to be seen. However, if Silva's standup has any effect on Fitch's game plan, the wrestler should go back to his bread and butter early and often.
Significant Advantage: Fitch
Both Jon Fitch and Erick Silva can pull off submissions.
The difference between the two is that Fitch possesses a black belt in Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu, while Silva possesses a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
That means that Fitch's submission game is a little more in your face in comparison to the more technical display of talents at the hands of the Brazilian.
Fitch's type of jiu-jitsu is based around his judo and wrestling prowess, while Silva's incorporates a little more defense and the ability to attempt a submission at any point in the fight.
Therefore, based on execution ability and overall strength, Silva gets the nod.
Slight Advantage: Silva
It's difficult to pinpoint which fighter possesses more intangibles on any given night.
On one hand, you have Jon Fitch. He's a beast of a veteran that uses world-class cardio, excellent transitions and superior wrestling to win fights by leaving his opponent withered on the canvas.
On the other hand, you have Erick Silva. He's a naturally powerful striker who possesses two black belts at the young age of 28. His ability to knock guys down, put them against the fence and batter them while standing is unique by itself.
This bout is truly up in the air to begin with, so to save face, both welterweights will receive proper praise for their quality intangibles.
At this point in his career, Jon Fitch needs this win.
After all he's done within one of the toughest divisions in the UFC over the past few years, he's been somewhat forgotten as a solidified title contender.
Unfortunately for Erick Silva, who may or may not be the real deal, Fitch responds with perfection in the eyes of defeat.
His recent knockout loss to Johny Hendricks was more of an anomaly than anything else. Therefore, it should do Fitch well to get back in the cage opposite a hungry newcomer.
When it comes down to the nitty gritty, when all the chips are on the line, always go with the seasoned vet.
Verdict: Fitch via third-round TKO
For more UFC 153 news and coverage, Follow @DHiergesell