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Win or Lose, Tonight Will Be Chris Lytle’s Swan Song

“Are you not entertained? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?!?” (Pic:

Chris Lytle‘s career has been something of an enigma. He’s a fan favorite that largely flies under the radar. He has a go-for-broke style that’s measured with solid technique and an enviable ground game. He sports a losing record in an organization that has awarded him a record number of post-fight performance bonuses. It’s the kind of engrossing tale that deserves a captivating, in depth interview to truly appreciate. But for a man who’s entire life is a lesson in self-sacrifice, there’s still much to give outside of the cage, and Lytle’s ready to turn the lights out on his fighting career.

Ariel Helwani broke the news in an interview with Lytle last night. Despite his participation in a sport where hype and self-promotion can help raise you to the top, it’s no surprise to hear “Lights Out” speaking only of others. “I’ve been fighting since ’98, fighting forever, a lot of it is just that I’m not doing my responsibilities like I need to at home. I feel like I’m not being the type of dad I want to. I got four kids and lots of times I feel just an immense sense of guilt for not being there in times when I should.”

If you can accuse Lytle of anything, it’s putting other people’s concerns ahead of his own. Inside the cage, he refuses to employ tactics that could secure the win at the sacrifice of applause. Outside of it, he rushes toward scenes that others flee as a full-time firefighter. He’s also used his experience in the MMA world to improve the lives of at-risk youth and our military. Yet the veteran of 53 professional fights still feels like he could do more. “I just feel like I have a lot of things in my head that I feel guilty about. I have a great time fighting, and I love fighting—I want to do it all the time—but I think that sometimes it’s time for me to not think about what I want and start thinking about what’s best for other people.”

Part of “what’s best for other people” could be a run for office in his home state. Lytle is giving serious consideration to throwing his hat into the political arena and vying for a seat in the Indiana House or Senate.

A victory over Dan Hardy this evening will allow Lytle to balance the scales, to leave the fight game with a 10-10 record in the UFC. That would be a perfect reflection of a man who cares more about entertaining fans than he does which side of the win-lose column the hash mark falls on. If there’s any question what sort of performance Lytle is shooting for this evening, rest assured he’ll be out there fighting for you, the fans: “I want the people to want more, like, ‘Why is he gone? I want him to come back.’ That would be my dream for it to end like that.”

- Chris Colemon (@ChrisColemon)


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RwilsonR- August 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm
I think he'll get his dream retirement, because I'm already sad to see him go. I think he is making the right choice for the right reasons, but I'll miss him, and this sport has been better for having had him in it.
Get Off Me- August 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm
Chris Lytle is a beautiful fighter and I think his body is quitting on him. A Firefighter/UFC fighter, a father to his children, a class act who always delivered.
DangadaDang- August 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm
Lytle has been and always will be one of if not my favorite fighter to watch, and as much as it sucks to see him leave i think its for the best. BUT THEY SHOULD JUST GIVE HIM A TITLE SHOT FIRST. Bon voyage Lights Out, its been awesome.
XENOPHON- August 14, 2011 at 10:41 am
Considering that Lytle carries a much better Boxing record, than he does MMA record, I for one am glad he chose to spin his wheels in the MMA game. True has has dropped a few decisions, but he carries no shame on my books. Maybe he will decide to keep fighting elsewhere - as the local up-and-comers could use his vetted experience.

---And I too hope he sends Hardy packing with a one ticket on British Airways.
ubidoob- August 14, 2011 at 9:42 am
Damn... Fights are going to get a little more boring without Lytle fighting...

I wish him all the best.
sevvi- August 14, 2011 at 8:49 am
It's a sad day for all mma fans. Good luck with all your future endeavors mr Lytle. And itis kinda awesome you kicked Hardys ass out of the UFC.
Todd M- August 14, 2011 at 7:57 am
CrushCo- August 14, 2011 at 7:54 am
@Todd M: I don't know, but I hope it can carry Lytle's brass balls.
Todd M- August 14, 2011 at 7:50 am
@ Crush Co, I wonder if u can fit a fire hose on one of those?
Todd M- August 14, 2011 at 7:47 am
Hope Lytle can pull one more K.O tonight, Great fighter even greater guy, It's been a pleasure to watch his career
CrushCo- August 14, 2011 at 7:42 am
There's nothing more I'd like to see than Lytle ride off into the sunset on a 2012 Harley Davidson Blackline.