UFC 153 may be headlined by a superfight between Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar, but one of the fights I am more interested in seeing is a welterweight showdown that features Jon Fitch and Erick Silva.
Fitch is a representative of the old guard. He has been a mixed martial artist since 2002 and has competed in the UFC since 2005. With the UFC, he has 16 career fights, has gone 13-2-1 and has even had a title shot at Georges St. Pierre.
On the other side, Erick Silva is the young blood of the UFC and has only been an MMA fighter since 2005. The 28-year-old Brazilian was once a highly touted prospect and is now considered a top contender at 170 pounds.
None of Silva's fights have left the first round, going 2-1 in the UFC. The loss has an asterisk next to it, as he was disqualified for blows to the back of the head, which was clearly the wrong call.
In looking at these fights, he has dominated Luis Ramos, Carlo Prater and Charlie Brenneman. Silva hasn't been in trouble against these tough opponents.
The question is, who has more on the line in this fight?
A loss to Fitch would derail Silva's hype train and knock him down the ladder against this Top-10 welterweight.
On the flip side, a loss to Silva would be devastating to Fitch. Not only is he coming off a knee injury, but Fitch would be on a two-fight losing streak, as he lost to Johny Hendricks in his last bout.
It is hard enough for a guy like Fitch to get a title shot because of his fighting style, but it's even tougher for him to get a title shot with two straight losses. Hell, it took Fitch eight straight wins over quality opposition to get his first title shot.
A loss for Silva would not be nearly as bad. Silva is a young, budding star who always has the chance to move up the ladder quickly with his fight style.
Fans love Silva, and he has the skills to be a star. As for Fitch, fans bore easily from his grinding style and frequently boo him.
That said, Fitch needs to win at UFC 153, or he would be winless in his last three fights. He has the most on the line in this fight.