MMA Analysis: A Look Back at Chris Lytle's Storied Career

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A fighter’s nickname sometimes can be helpful or mocking towards their career. Karo Parysian has seemed to lose “Heat” over the years, Chuck Liddell was the one becoming “The Iceman” as he was stiff from knockouts and Diego Sanchez, who knows – “Dirty” always seemed better than the nightmare or dream or vision or whatever he is calling himself this week.

Chris Lytle is “Lights Out” by his style of putting opponents out and now by deciding when to turn the lights off on his career, on his own terms. Walking away Sunday night, he leaves with a submission win over Dan Hardy and $130,000 in his pocket after recording a record 9th & 10th post fight bonuses in the organization.

Winning “fight of the night” honors had become second nature for the Indiana fighter, receiving six in his last ten outings in addition to knockout of the night (against Kyle Bradley) and two submissions of the night awards (Brian Foster & Dan Hardy).

The full-time firefighter was always eager to mix it up with anyone put in front of him. Since losing a close decision to Matt Serra, Lytle went 9-5 post Ultimate Fighter. Three of his losses were unanimous decision, 1 split decision and a doctor stoppage; the man was not easy to put away and brought the action to his fight every time.

Overall, his professional record of MMA is 31-18-5, in over 50 matches he has been stopped only twice and the rest via decision. Known to stand and use his professional boxing to demoralize opponents, the possible politician possessed a known skill to submit men even when they least expected it. Hardy found out the difficult way of Lytle’s submission game, shooting for points late in the fight and getting caught in a textbook guillotine for the win and bonuses.

Leaving behind a UFC run that never saw him fight for a title, other fighters in all divisions can learn from his approach, go out and fight like you are there to fight. Lytle was always known and dependable on delivering a fierce performance and left it out there every time, not going the currently popular route of gaining points, instead to fight – win, lose or draw.

Undoubtedly one of the more entertaining and classier fighters to be on the ZUFFA roster in recent years. He never was known for bashing other men, calling out weaker fighters or ducking a challenge, he did his job and fought his best each time. Hanging up the gloves to be the family man his family deserves and needs only capitalizes the character of who Chris Lytle is.

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