After 13 years of professional competition, UFC on Versus 5 main event fighter Chris Lytle is retiring from the UFC and mixed martial arts.
The fighter informed NBCSports.com of the news and MMAWeekly.com later confirmed the information through an independent source.
Lytle, who is still scheduled to face Dan Hardy at UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs. Lytle in Milwaukee on Sunday night, has fought professionally since 1998 and cites feeling guilty for being away from his children as one of the reasons why he is calling it a career.
“I feel like I’m not being the type of dad I want to,” Lytle told NBCSports.com. “I got four kids and lots of time I feel just an immense sense of guilt for not being there in times when I should.”
Dan Hardy found out about Lytle’s intention to retire straight from his opponent at the weigh-ins. The British fighter was surprised Lytle informed him of the plans to call it a career, but feels honored to be his last opponent.
“Obviously, he wants to go out with a good, hard fight instead of his last one where he really didn’t get to engage much,” Hardy told MMAWeekly.com on Saturday night. “And what he said to me at the weigh-ins, he said, ‘this is my last one, so let’s make it a good one.’ And I said, ‘it will be a good one… we’ll have a great fight.’
“He wants to go out on a good fight and I’m honored that he’s picked me to do it.”
Hardy sees the main event for UFC on Versus 5 as an opportunity for both fighters to showcase their stand-up abilities. “The Outlaw” is known to stand and trade with fighters and feels Lytle will want that kind of fight.
Having a “Chris Lytle” kind of fight is the perfect way to close the book on a career.
“I think, more than anything, he wants to have a ‘Chrs Lytle’ fight to finish his career,” Hardy explained. “And I think he knows that I don’t mind standing and trading punches with him and I don’t mind a fast-paced fight.
“I certainly think that he’ll come out with all guns blazing because of it and I think might make for a very great fight.”
Lytle will go into UFC on Versus 5 with a record of 30-18-5 and will surely look to end his career on a winning note.