A perennial UFC welterweight contender and one of the division’s up-and-coming stars have been paired for an October showdown in Rio de Janeiro.
Onetime title contender Jon Fitch and former Jungle Fight champion Erick Silva have agreed to square off at UFC 153, Silva’s manager, Wallid Ismail, confirmed Monday on Twitter.
It is unknown where the 170-pound bout will fall on the rapidly expanding card, which takes place Oct. 13 at Rio’s HSBC Arena and is headlined by Jose Aldo’s featherweight title defense against Erik Koch.
A longtime No. 2 to divisional ruler Georges St. Pierre, 34-year-old Fitch has fallen in the rankings after a 12-second knockout loss at the hands of fellow wrestler Johny Hendricks in December. Fitch’s UFC record stands at an impressive 13-2-1, with the only other Octagon blemish coming in a five-round August 2008 loss to St. Pierre.
Silva, 28, fights out of Rio’s X-Gym, where he trains alongside UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva, and is a member of Team Nogueira. He was last seen in June, when he choked out Charlie Brenneman in the opening round. The last time Silva fought in Rio, he suffered the second loss of his career in a controversial disqualification against Carlo Prater.