Longtime veteran Chris “Lights Out” Lytle needs no introduction to MMA fans.
You’d be hard pressed to find Lytle in a boring fight and that’s the reason why fans are always entertained when they watch the 36-year-old fighter in action. With over 15 fights under his belt in the Octagon and seven UFC post-fight honors, Lytle is synonymous with exciting fights.
Riding a four-fight winning streak that includes notable wins over Matt Brown and former UFC champion Matt Serra, Lytle finds himself ranked as one of the Top 10 welterweights in the world, moving ever closer to title contention. The Indianapolis resident is next scheduled to face Brian Ebersole at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia.
“He’s from the Midwest, I remember him from a long time ago. It’s a tough fight. The dude has had about 60 pro fights,” commented Lytle. “He’s been fighting since the year 2000. It was different back then; you mask some losses because of fighting in no weight class and no rules. He’s never been knocked out and he’s a tough guy. He’s a good enough veteran where he can make people look bad, he makes the fights close.”
Lytle was originally scheduled to face Carlos Condit in a welterweight showdown that could have had title implications. Condit unfortunately suffered a knee injury during training and had to bow out.
“I was really disappointed,” said Lytle. “We’re both ranked in the Top 10 and I’m getting up in age, had a lot of injuries. You never know, you can be an injury or two from being out. I really wanted this fight and keep stepping up in competition and fighting tough guys.”
Like Lytle, Brian Ebersole has been in the fight business for a long time. The IFL and Strikeforce veteran will finally make his UFC debut after many years in the sport. Despite the change in opponents, Lytle plans on putting on an exciting fight and isn’t taking Ebersole lightly.
“His back’s against the wall and he’s got a good opportunity. Personally, I love the feeling of being the underdog. There’s no pressure on you. I know it’s going to be a tough fight. I can’t go in there worrying (about my performance); I have to worry about doing what I can to beat this guy because he’s a tough guy.”
Prior to his rematch with Matt Serra at UFC 119, Lytle told MMAWeekly.com about his change in mentality towards fighting. His goal was to go out there and have fun fights, not over-think things, and just enjoy the sport and have fun at it. That mentality has not wavered going into this fight.
“If it comes down to me fighting the best fight of my life and losing a split decision or fighting the worst and winning a decision, I’d rather fight the best fight of my life,” revealed Lytle.
“Look at the last several times you seen people say, ‘I’m going to win this fight and I’m going to be getting a title shot.’ Are those fights ever good? I think they’re not. I think they’re usually boring. Both guys are thinking, ‘I got to win, I got to win, and I can’t lose, I can’t lose,’ and they don’t usually put on good fights. I’m trying not to think of anything like that and fight the fight, don’t worry about what happens.”
There has been much talk of welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre moving up in weight to challenge Anderson Silva should he be successful in defeating Jake Shields at UFC 129 in Toronto. Lytle wants to have the opportunity to challenge the French-Canadian champion some day and expressed his desire that GSP stays in the division.
“I’m against GSP leaving. Let’s say he went out there and got beat by Shields, I don’t see it happening, but let’s say it happened. I would rather fight GSP over everybody because in my opinion he’s the best guy out there at this weight class. I’d like to test myself.
“I would fight him if we were at my gym and no one else was watching just so I can know for myself,” Lytle admitted. “I like to test myself. If he ever goes up (in weight), it’s never going to happen. I don’t see me being an 185-pounder.”
Chris Lytle is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC today. He has enjoyed a long career and continues to climb the ladder to title contention. Despite being disappointed by the last second opponent change, he doesn’t plan on taking a hungry veteran like Brian Ebersole delicately.
“I do what I can to make people say, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to see him fight again!’”