(“I’d rather lose the best fight of my life than win the worst.” Photo courtesy of Sherdog)
On August 14th, Chris Lytle will step into the Octagon for the 20th time in his career, when he squares off against Dan Hardy at the aptly-named UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It will be Lytle’s first-ever headlining bout for the UFC — as well as an opportunity to re-claim the title of “Most Bonus-Worthy Fighter in UFC History.” (He currently shares the honor with Anderson Silva and Joe Lauzon.) We recently spoke to “Lights Out” about some of his most memorable UFC fights, his upcoming scrap against Hardy, his crowd-pleasing style, and the tough lessons he’s learned along the way. Enjoy…
CHRIS LYTLE vs. BEN EARWOOD — Lytle’s UFC debut
UFC 28, 11/17/00
Result: Defeat via unanimous decision
“I’d been fighting for less than two years at the time, but as soon as I started training, I got really involved in watching the UFC. I knew who all the key guys were and I knew it was the pinnacle of the sport, so it was my goal to be there. We only fought two five-minute rounds [at UFC 28], and they’d started having fighters wear gloves not too long before, so it was just way different. Earwood was more of a wrestler — he just tried to hold me down. I don’t think they stood us up once.
Back then I was training with Jason Godsey and a few other guys maybe two or three times a week. Every one of us had real jobs, full-time jobs, and this was something we did for fun. I definitely felt like we were good fighters — Jason was King of Pancrase, and beat a lot of good guys — but we didn’t train every day. And after that fight I kind of realized…I didn’t feel like Earwood was any better of a fighter than me, I just felt like he had a better gameplan than I did, he stuck with it, and he trained more than I did.