by Mick Hammond
This past June, UFC vet Chris “Lights Out” Lytle continued on his winning ways in boxing when he defeated Omar Pittman via TKO in his native Indiana, raising his record to and impressive 13-1 in that sport. Now after taking time out to recover from a cut he received in that bout, Lytle will be returning to MMA action this August, and in the process bring MMA back to his hometown for the first time in years.
When Lytle spoke to MMA Weekly recently he discussed what he’s been up to since most fans saw him on PPV at UFC 51 in February. “I had the WEC fight in California (against Pat Healy) which was a tough one then I had a pretty good boxing match out here on a riverboat. I cut my head in that one so I was non-active for a while, but now I’m healed up and I’m going to fight for the LFC on August 13th against Brian Dunn.”
The fight is scheduled to be taking place at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Franklin, Indiana, and according to Lytle, it’s a great opportunity to bring the sport he loves back to his home state. “It feels really good to be fighting in my hometown. I think it’s the first time they are doing NHB in this town in like five years. It will be nice to be able to tell people I’m fighting here after always having to tell them that I’ll be fighting in California or Las Vegas all the time.”
Lytle’s opponent, Brian Dunn, is a veteran of the Midwest fighting circuit, having competed in Monte Cox’s Extreme Challenge promotion on numerous occasions. He has had over 50 fights and has faced such known opponents as Travis Fulton, Gilbert Yvel, and most recently, UFC veteran Dave Strasser.
“I know Dunn has a pretty decent record and he’s been around a while so it should be a good fight,” said Lytle. “I’ve learned not to think that some fights are not going to be competitive. If you start thinking that then you’ll take someone too lightly and lose. I’ve doing a lot of sprints and things like that, and I’m really pushing myself on working out and being in shape. I should be prepared and in great shape for this fight.”
In Lytle’s last MMA fight against Pat Healy in the WEC in June was almost one of those fights that got away from Lytle as Healy stepped up and pushed the Chris to the limit, with Lytle barely escaping with a split decision victory. Lytle himself acknowledges a continuous change of opponents and Healy’s toughness contributed to the close outcome.
“I went through something like four opponents for that fight. They kept changing and even the last week before the fight I wasn’t sure who I was fighting,” explained Lytle. “I went out there thinking I might not fight and then when I knew I was fighting I took him for granted. He was a tough guy. In the first round I had good stuff that I should have finished him with, in the second I tried a few more things, but in the third round I was done. I had spent all my energy trying to get him with things. Mentally I wasn’t prepared for the fight and he did a good job of being a tough, solid opponent.”
When it comes to his plans after August, Lytle will continue to take fights in both MMA and boxing and hopes to return to the UFC. “After August I’m looking to do whatever comes my way. I take a boxing match in October on an undercard and I’ll probably have at least one NHB fight before the end of the year. I’m not going to limit myself. I heard I may be coming back to the UFC and I’m hoping I will. It puts more pressure on my shoulders to win and it’s good motivation.”
Lytle concluded, “I hope everyone comes out to the Johnson County Fairgrounds on August 13th for the fight. I’m really excited to be fighting in my hometown in front of my friends and family. I’m going to use this opportunity to get back on the right track and get back to the UFC.”