Jon Fitch vs Erick Silva in the works for UFC 153 in Rio

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Jon Fitch of the USA looks across the octagon at BJ Penn of the USA before the start of their welterweight bout part of UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Erick Silva, meet your potential stepping stone: Jon Fitch.

Silva -- perhaps the brightest Welterweight prospect not named Rory MacDonald -- has been tapped to tackle perennial top 170-pound stalwart (and former number one contender), Fitch, at UFC 153 from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Oct. 13, 2012.

Ariel Helwani revealed via Twitter.com that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has offered the bout to both fighters and they have verbally agreed to punch each other in the face.

That's yet another big challenge for Fitch (23-4), who is coming off a crushing knockout loss to Johny Hendricks at UFC 141 last December. It was the second straight performance that failed to net him a win, as the former Purdue University wrestler went to a draw opposite B.J. Penn at UFC 127 last year in Australia.

It was, however, just his second loss inside the Octagon, the first coming at the hands of reigning welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre way back in August 2008. He was supposed to return to welcome Aaron Simpson to the division at UFC on FUEL TV 4 earlier this month; however, a knee injury sustained in training forced him off the card.

Winless in more than two years? Coming off an injury? Fighting a young talent like Silva? In hostile territory?

Yikes.

Silva (14-2) hasn't truly been defeated in almost six years, despite a questionable disqualification against Carlo Prater in his sophomore effort inside the Octagon. Prior to the curious call, "Indio" absolutely smashed "Neo" in front of a rabid hometown crowd, which, unsurprisingly, wasn't too happy about the result.

He didn't miss a beat(down) in his next endeavor, overwhelming Charlie Brenneman at UFC on FX 3 in June 2012 to register a submission (rear naked choke) finish.

If Silva, 28, has any intentions of making a title run of his own, he'll need to pass this test, which is about as tough as it gets.

UFC 153 will feature a 145-pound showdown between UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo vs Erik Koch in the main event of the evening, while former 205-pound division champion Quinton Jackson will likely compete for the last time in the Octagon against fast-rising Brazilian banger Glover Teixeira.

For the latest UFC 153 fight card and rumors click here. To check out our complete UFC 153 event archive click here.

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