Lytle Knew He Couldn’t Keep Fighting

Aug 23, 2011
After his upset loss to Brian Ebersole at UFC 127 in February, Chris Lytle took some time off.

He had surgery on his knee, which he had injured before the bout, and also got the chance to spend some time with his family during his recovery. The opportunity opened his eyes.

“I enjoyed being home and spending time with my kids,” Lytle (Pictured, File Photo) said on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I just never really got to do that ever. That happened, and I had to go back to the gym and start training for my fight. Really quickly I learned I’d rather be at home than training for the fight. As soon as that came, I knew that I couldn’t keep fighting.”

Lytle had to change his focus as he prepared to face Dan Hardy in the Aug. 14 main event of UFC Live 5. He knew he was going to retire and he wanted to go out with a win.

“Everybody quits the UFC because they’ve been knocked out three times in a row or they’re on losing streaks,” Lytle said. “I was like, ‘Man, I want to do everything I can to go out … just kind of at the top of my game.’ I think it’s always good when you leave people wanting more. I think that’s hard for most fighters to do, to find the right time to leave. Everybody fights for too long. I want to be somebody that didn’t do that.”

Lytle pulled it off. In his final Octagon performance, he delivered yet another entertaining slugfest and capped it by submitting Hardy with less than a minute to go.

“When I thought about it in my head, that’s kind of exactly how it worked out,” Lytle said. “It usually doesn’t work out like that, you know what I mean? It was pretty cool.”

It was perfect, and Lytle said he’s not worried about the temptation to return because he can’t really beat the exit he just made.

“I can’t see anything topping that fight,” he said. “The only thing I could possibly see would be if they ever came and said, ‘Chris, somebody got hurt. We need you to do this title fight.’ Which you know, I would very, very doubt [it would happen]. I mean, there’s other guys, I would say, that are more deserving, so I doubt that they would do that. I’ll be honest: If they did and I was fortunate somehow and did win, I’d retire again. I don’t really want to go in the gym and train right now. I’d just rather be home.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 2:01:05).

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