With his final fight, about to begin against Dan Hardy, Chris Lytle looked anything but nervous. He looked prepared like any other fight he took apart of and was looking for that last moment to solidify a very long and successful career.. “Lights Out” got that moment and can finally dedicate to what he put first and that is his family.
On Sunday night Lytle took on Dan Hardy and during the weigh-ins Lytle handed Dana White a thank you letter of sorts and he was letting everybody know that his fight against Hardy would be his last. There was no bad blood between him and Hardy and no insults were traded. This was going to be one thing and that was a FIGHT.
“That is the type of fight I like and I’m going to be tougher than him.” Lytle said. “If he wanted to go to the mat that’s fine but I hate when fights go to the ground because standing and banging was my goal and sure enough he accepted for the first 2 rounds.”
The fight was going the way they discussed it with both fighters just trading punches and at times powerful ones that would more than likely finish a fight. But with both of them, it was different as they were going off pure heart as they wanted to make this last fight for Lytle a memorable one. When Hardy shot for that takedown at the end of the 3rd round even Lytle was surprised.
“I was thinking um.. what is going on here, I usually shoot for takedowns and he’s doing it. I guess he wanted to even up the round and secure a takedown and take top position, but he left his head open and I grabbed on. I was still in shock when he did that but I didn’t panic and locked in the choke.”
Lytle finished the fight and ended his career that most would like to and that is “on top”. It was a fantastic finish to a fight that had no background between both fighters and they just wanted to do their job and exclude any trash talking. With Lytle he picked up a win, 2 bonuses, and a new motorcycle from Harley Davidson. With that fight in the books it’s a fitting conclusion to a career that Lytle some might call average in the UFC.
With a 10-10 record in the UFC many naysayers are calling that Lytle isn’t anybody that should be recognized as a trend setter in MMA and the UFC because all he did was boost his record to .500. But many forget about the numerous bonuses he has received for that included 6 Fight of The Nights. This all happening why he still had another job and that was a fireman in Indiana.
Many fighters can’t support their families just with the money that comes in from MMA and that’s why even while fighting Lytle continued to be a proud firefighter of the Indianapolis Fire Department. He has done that for many years and he has been able to split his time between that and his training, which would made it extra tough to be with his family. With Lytle, he always said his family would be first, and now he’s putting that into perspective.
“I felt over the last few months my family wasn’t always my first priority and I felt like I was spending more time away from them, than I would like to. My kids are growing up so fast and I don’t want to miss anything from the point forward. I have a great stretch in this sport and it’s time for me to hang those gloves up.”
You can’t fault a man for putting his family first and with the years seeming like months, the time flying by is too much to be missed. Yes Lytle was an inspiration to many inside and outside of the cage, but one thing is for sure he never lost touch on what came first. He took fighting more as a hobby than a job because he loved doing it, which made it easier on him because he enjoyed it. If more took that outlook on life they would be happier, and even though many aren’t MMA fighters they can still grasp that concept.
Chris Lytle even with a 10-10 record really showed how hard MMA is and how to juggle multiple angles of life. After his fight on Saturday he brought his family into the cage and celebrated with them because again it comes back around to one thing and that is them and nobody else. Lytle made a decision to retire after his fight and I'm sure under the same circumstances many would do the same exact thing.