UFC 153: October 13, 2012 HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil UFC Welterweight Contender Jon Fitch (-155) Profile: One of the most dominant welterweights in the modern era of MMA, Jon Fitch (23-4-1, 1 NC) enjoyed a 20-1 record between 2003 and 2011 until he fought to a draw with B.J. Penn and was then knocked out in 12 seconds by fellow welterweight contender Johny Hendricks at UFC 141. The 34-year-old Indiana native has dealt with injuries over the last year, and his upcoming fight at UFC 153 will be his first in nearly a year. Always trying to showcase his superior wrestling skills and looking to smother his opponents with takedowns and top control, Fitch has rarely been out-muscled or out-grappled. UFC Welterweight Contender Erick Silva (+125) Profile: One of the most promising talents in any weight division in the UFC, inaugural Jungle Fight welterweight champ Erick Silva (14-2) has dominated nearly everyone in his path. After knocking out Luis Ramos in forty seconds in his UFC 134 debut, the 28-year-old Brazilian’s second UFC fight was at first thought to be another victory in less than a minute, then he was given the loss due to strikes to the back of the head. He made up for his loss with an incredible performance against Charlie Brenneman at UFC on FX 3, delivering devastating blows and finishing his opponent with a rear-naked choke submission. Silva is the entire package, deadly on the ground and standing, and will face a tough challenge next against another fellow welterweight contender in Fitch. Opening UFC 153 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Fitch a slight -155 favorite (bet $155 to win $100) while Silva opened as a +125 underdog (bet $100 to win $125) according to the MMA odds. Fitch’s experience certainly gives him the edge, although Silva’s most recent activity has probably put a dent into a potentially bigger line if his opponent was not coming off a knee injury. Fitch has been in the Octagon only 12 seconds since his draw with Penn in February of last year, and his last two bouts have left a lot to be desired after he seemingly rebounded from a title fight loss to Georges St. Pierre by stringing together five consecutive wins. This is a huge opportunity for Fitch to prove he is still one of the top welterweights in the UFC against a dangerous opponent who has a lot at stake as well as one of the rising stars of the division.