EXCLUSIVE | Chris “Lights-Out” Lytle Open To UFC Return For Short Notice Fights | BJPENN.COM RADIO
By Jake Chastain
Wednesday night BJPenn.com Radio welcomed on a special guest in UFC veteran Chris “Lights-Out” Lytle. Chris, who is a long time fan favorite and an MMA godfather with 54 professional fights on his resume, decided to retire from the sport of mixed martial arts after his epic battle with Dan Hardy back in August of 2011. Lytle won that fight via guillotine choke improving his professional record to 31-18 while also claiming Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night bonuses for that fight. Since then Lytle has been dabbling in politics and has taken a much bigger role in his family life. However, Lytle has still been very active in MMA as a coach, trainer, mentor and a promoter in the small local circuits in Indianapolis, Indiana area. While visiting with our boys Pedro Carrasco and George Mathews at BJPenn.com Radio, Lytle discussed his reasoning for leaving the sport in what some would consider his prime and even touched on a possible return to the UFC if the circumstances were right. Here are some of the highlights from that interview:
Chris first touched on his choice to hang up the gloves and his reasoning behind it:
“I mean, there was always a part of me that didn’t really want to retire. It was never the fact that I felt I needed to retire or I was tired of fighting…it was nothing like that. It was just I got to the point where right before the Ebersole fight I hurt my knee and after that fight I was able to take about a month off and do some rehab that I’ve never really done and I was able to spend some time at home. And I have four kids, so I was able to spend some time at home and just make some…I’m getting older and I’m realizing a lot of things. My kids have gotten a lot older since I’ve actually got to spend a lot of time with them. And I just realized a lot of things.”
“I still wish I could really fight and put the time in but I just don’t feel like I could do that to my family. I can’t leave them right now.”
“I feel like I did the right thing and it was unfortunate I had to quit fighting but I if I have the chance to choose between one of the two, I definitely did the right thing.”
Chris then discussed his physical state and if he still felt good enough to fight:
“I still feel like if I put in an eight week camp I could go do a fight right now, I know I could.”
And then Pedro Carrasco asked Mr. Lytle the million dollar question: Is the door on returning completely closed? Here is how “Lights Out” answered:
“I can’t say it’s always closed. I’ve made this comment to them before, I said, ‘hey man, I’m not willing to put in eight weeks of training but if you called me and said, hey, I have this possible fight Chris. Somebody backed out and we need you in a week. We need you in five days, we need you here. I could take it. There’s a couple guys I do want to fight on short notice because I wouldn’t have to spend all that time away from my family and, like I said, I’m still training some, I still feel like I’m in good shape right now. And as veteran I know how to condition myself to where I could last three rounds. So, you never know. If you have something last minute, let me know. That’s the only way I could see it. If it was like two weeks before a fight or something, but you give me two months I don’t think I could…I mean, I can’t say never. There is a couple possibilities if they said, if Dana or somebody came to me and said, hey Chris, I would really like you to do this, take this certain fight for one reason. I’d say ok, I can do one but I’m not planning on coming back long term. I could do something possibly but I definitely don’t see that happening but you never can tell.”
So what do you think Penn Nation? Would you like to see Chris Lytle make an octagon return or should he continue to focus on his family and leave competition in his past? With six Fight of the Night honors, three Submission of the Night honors, and a KO of the Night award all listed on his resume I think it’s hard for any fan to say no to a Lytle return. However, is the UFC willing to give him that short notice fight that he seeks? That will be something we’ll have to keep our eyes on in the coming weeks.
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