Jon Fitch will draw one of the UFC's top young guns in his next outing.
The longtime welterweight contender is set to square off with Brazilian Erick Silva at UFC 153, MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani has learned. Sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed the two had verbally agreed to the pairing.
Fitch was supposed to face Aaron Simpson in July, only to be forced out after suffering a knee injury. The setback apparently won't keep him on the shelf long. Upon returning, Fitch will be attempting to win for the first time in three fights. At UFC 127, he fought to a draw with B.J. Penn, and in his follow-up match at UFC 141, he was knocked out by Johny Hendricks, marking the first time he had been finished since 2002.
Fitch is 23-4-1 with 1 no contest.
Silva has looked spectacular in all three of his octagon outings. He debuted with a knockout of Luis Ramos at UFC 134, then appeared to earn a second straight first-round KO at UFC 142, only to be controversially disqualified for strikes to the back of the head. Silva then followed that up with a first-round submission win over Charlie Brenneman at June's UFC on FX 3.
Silva is 14-2 with 1 no contest.
Fitch will be tasked with facing Silva on his home soil, as the bout emanates from Rio on October 13.