Most fighters walk away from Mixed Martial Arts because they can no longer compete at a high level due to age, injury, or a combination of both. However, former UFC welterweight Chris Lytle’s decision to retire came for fairly unique reasons, and in fact he’d won five of his six scraps leading up to the move.
Lytle decided to hang his gloves up in August 2011 to focus on running for office in Indiana and being closer to his family. With his political pursuits now behind him, it sounds like Lytle is itching to fight again but remains unwilling to come back on a full time basis due the sacrifices such a scenario would require.
“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 Brian 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,” said Lytle in an interview with BJPenn.com Radio.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
That being said, Lytle maintained he would be willing and able if called upon in a bind or if the opponent piqued his interest.
“There are 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,” the 38-year old explained. “So, you never know. If you have something last minute, let me know. That’s the only way I could see it.”
“Lights Out” hung his gloves up with 31 wins including 25 finishes. Also impressive, only two of Lytle’s 18 losses came as the result of a TKO/submission with each involving a cut-based stoppage.
The UFC currently has an August 28 card planned for Indianapolis that could be a logical landing spot if the organization is interested in booking a one-off for Lytle.
FRONT PAGE PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY