||06-20-2009 05:51 PM
TUF 9 Finale: Can Chris Lytle Secure his Spot?
SparkNotes version (for you, Michelle):
- Lytle may get cut if he doesn't win
- He's been training CrossFit to try to up his endurance
- He thinks Kevin will fight him & not look for a decision
The boom in popularity for MMA resulted in the UFC’s roster growing at an exponential rate.
With numbers swelled to maximum capacity, shows began to book at such a rate that fighters have now found themselves with an abundance of shows, but a lack of spots available due to the promotion’s roster being so full.
So the inevitable cuts have begun. Fighters not performing up to expectations have found themselves out of the promotion, making each fight now a potential last gasp for young talent and veterans alike.
One of the longtime UFC fighters who is looking to continue his time with the company is welterweight Chris “Lights Out” Lytle.
After five years of near consistency with the promotion, Lytle has alternated wins and losses of late, and at the age of 34 could be facing his last run with the company. In typical Lytle fashion, however, if this is the last run, he intends to go out swinging.
“I feel like I’ve been a split-decision away – a bad break away – from being really in a better position than I’m at,” Lytle told MMAWeekly heading into this Saturday’s TUF 9 Finale.
“I’ve been training too long and too hard to just worry about beating somebody on a decision – that’s never my goal. I’m going to go out there and fight my ass off, give (everyone) a good show, and definitely try to knock this guy’s head off or submit him or whatever.”
Due to the UFC’s hectic schedule, Lytle has been out of action for five months, and in the interim has begun new training routines, such as CrossFit, to increase his endurance, hoping it will propel him further in match-ups.
“In my fights I tend to go all out and that tends to make you die at the end of a fight, so I’m hoping this time (by) the third round I’m still ready to go,” he stated. “That can make all the difference in a fight sometimes.”
At The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale, Lytle will take on up and comer Kevin Burns in a bout that he feels both fighters are tailor-made for each other.
“I think the UFC put us together because they expect us to put on a great fight,” he said. “I see him as being one of those guys who’s not going to try to beat me by decision I don’t think – and that’s the kind of guy I want to fight.
“I’m excited to go in and trade punches with him, go to the ground a little bit and see where we go with this fight.”
Having switched up his training a little and gotten some time off to heal, Lytle sounds like a fighter rejuvenated and expecting to continue his MMA ride for the foreseeable future, regardless of fight results.
“I’m just looking to go in, put on good fights and win most of the fights I’m doing,” he commented. “Trust me; if there’s a time that I feel like I’m not going to be able to do something on a large scale, I’ll be done, but I haven’t felt that yet.”
Having served as the barometer for many fighters on their way up, Lytle is looking to stay in the UFC and make his own way back to the top of the standings.
“As usual, I want to thank the Tapout guys, all my training partners and the guys who’ve been taking care of me,” he concluded. “To the fans, with my next fight coming up here, they’re going to get a show.
“I’m never going to try to beat somebody by a decision – I’m always going to try to take them out.”
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