In a fight of the night worthy performance, Jon Fitch (27-4-1, 1 NC) overwhelmed talented Brazilian prospect Erick Silva (14-3, 1 NC) in their welterweight clash at UFC 153 from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
All three judges scored the fight, (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) to Fitch.
After a feeling out process, Silva landed a stinging knee to the body of Fitch, who earned the takedown and worked to take the back of Silva. Fitch locked in his hooks and softened Silva with good, powerful punches before driving Silva back to the mat.
Silva broke free and tagged Fitch with an overhand right before catching his foe against the cage. Silva was caught with an elbow on the break, with Fitch again taking the Brazilian to the mat. Fitch controlled the fight on the mat to the bell.
Fitch caught Silva with an uppercut to open the second round, but Silva swept Fitch to the mat, taking the top position before Silva unloaded with hammerfists from the ground.
Fitch was able to break free, but Silva took the American to the mat before locking in a choke attempt from his back, but Fitch’s sensational submission defense shone through. He was able to take Silva’s back, but was unable to finish off an armbar in the final seconds.
With the fight in the balance, Fitch again took Silva to the ground, pounding the 28-year-old Brazilian. After looking for Silva’s arm, the Brazilian escaped, but Fitch maintained the top position landing more ground and pound.
Fitch flattened out Silva and unloaded with an attack of ground strikes with the Brazilian forced to cover up.
“My family needed this win and I needed this win; I did what I had to,” Fitch said. “I knew I was safe (when Silva had the choke), he was wasting energy underneath me.
“I just can’t wait to get back home and see my family.”
The loss was Silva’s first official UFC loss after two victories and a disqualification loss in his first three fights, while Fitch notched up his first win since August of 2010.
(Follow @AndrewPMMA on Twitter)