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Chris Lytle to retire following bout with Dan Hardy

Chris Lytle is calling “Lights Out” on his MMA career after Sunday night. Scheduled to face Dan Hardy in the main event of UFC Live 5, Lytle announced that he will retire, win or lose, following the contest.

The news was first reported by earlier this morning.

At the UFC Live 5 weigh-ins on Saturday afternoon, Lytle could be seen handing UFC President Dana White a white envelope. According to the report, the envelope contained a thank you letter and a retirement note. After making weight and squaring off with his opponent, Lytle told Hardy that this would be his last fight.

Lytle said that he made up his mind about retiring months ago after spending time with his family while rehabbing injuries. Once he got back into the gym, he said, “I a guilt that I’m not used to feeling.”

Lytle went on to tell, “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.”

The 36 year old Indiana native made his UFC debut at UFC 28 in November 2000, dropping a unanimous decision to Ben Earwood. After spending a couple of years fighting across the United States and Japan, Lytle returned to the octagon at UFC 45, losing another decision, this time to Robbie Lawler. Lytle finally picked up his first UFC victory at UFC 47, submitting Tiki Ghosn with a bulldog choke in the second round.

Lytle would go on to compete on The Ultimate Fighter 4, which was a comeback season featuring former UFC fighters competing not only to win The Ultimate Fighter tournament, but to receive a title shot against the current champion. Lytle made it to the finals of the tournament, where he lost a very close split decision to Matt Serra. Lytle would avenge that loss four years later at UFC 119. After losing another decision to Matt Hughes at UFC 68, Lytle decided that he would no longer fight safe, and instead let it all go in his fights.

Since the loss to Hughes, the full-time firefighter has gone on to win one knockout of the night award, two submission of the night awards, and five fight of the night awards. With eight event awards bonuses, Lytle is tied with Anderson Silva for the most in company history.

Despite 18 losses on his record, Lytle has never been legitimately finished in a fight. 16 of his 18 losses came by way of decision while the other two fights, against Joe Riggs and Thiago Alves, were stopped due to cuts.

Lytle steps into the cage one last time tonight against Hardy. Both men have stated that they expect a stand up war, which would be a fitting ending to the long career of “Light Outs.”