by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Last year was an up and down year for perennial welterweight contender Chris “Lights Out” Lytle. After a successful year in 2004 where he went undefeated in MMA action, Lytle split his record last year going 2-2 in MMA, including losses in the UFC to Karo Parisyan and Joe Riggs.

According to Chris when he spoke to MMA Weekly recently, “I guess I feel was a little disappointing. I felt like I was in position to put myself in better situations a couple of times and it didn’t come through. It wasn’t exactly what I was trying to accomplish.”

This past year Lytle’s boxing career seemed to be heading in a right direction after he TKO’d Omar Pittman in June, but in the end opportunities alluded him to take a step up to the next level.

“I had a couple of possibilities that kind of fell through,” said Chris. “I definitely wanted to be more active with that. This year I’m definitely going to have more action going on with boxing and get some good fights coming up.”

One of those possibilities could have landed Lytle a spot on an ESPN reality show had it worked out. “I had a tryout for the show The Contender. They called me and told me that I was one of the people they wanted to look further into. They said it was coming down to a couple of weightclasses and if they picked mine they wanted me to come to California for the final tryout. I got a phone call later saying that they went with a different weightclass, so it didn’t happen.”

This year looks to be a big year for Lytle if he stays healthy. Already he’s got a lot going on and plans to keep that going. “I’m going in so many different directions right now. I’ve got different boxing opportunities and with MMA I’m always hearing that I’m up for different fights. I’m just looking to get the biggest fights possible against the best possible people and see what happens.”

Chris continued, “With the gym I’m working at now everything feels like everything is going full-go and I’ve got good people to go against, and I plan on fighting well this year. We’re off English Avenue (in Indianapolis) and the gym is called Damage Inc. It’s open to everyone, I pretty much run the MMA and we’ve got great boxing, wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu coaches. It’s probably the nicest facility around, we’ve got a lot of square footage, a ring, a partial cage, a lot of bags, pads, wrestling mats, everything we should have.”

Among those opportunities is two fights in the coming weeks, one here in the States and one abroad. “On the 13th I’m fighting on the WEC against a guy named (Trenell) Savant Young, then on February 4th I’m fighting on Cage Rage in England against Ross Mason. I’ve never been to England so I’m excited to go.”

“On the card I know they’ve got Vitor Belfort, Patrick Cote, Jason DeLucia, clearly they’ve got a number of UFC veterans so it’s looking like a good card. Anything big like that I’d like to get involved in,” further commented Chris.

Not only is Lytle involved in fighting, but he’s also been involved in building a solid MMA show in his native Indiana. “The fights we are putting on is called The Legends of Fighting, we’re having really good turnouts and we’re looking to make it bigger. We’re actually having two this month, the first is on Saturday (January 7th) and one on the 20th. Guys like Tom Erickson, Garry Goodridge, Joe Riggs, Tim Sylvia, and a lot of the Miletich guys have come out to the show. We’ve finally got some guys that you’ll be hearing about by the end of the year. Hopefully from our team some of them will make it to the UFC level.”

Lytle concluded, “This year should be, I’m going to have to say, my biggest year. I’m not really getting up there in age yet, but I’m no spring chicken anymore and the age and years are piling up on the my body so I’m thinking like this is do or die. It’s like my last hurrah two-year type thing, so I’m really going to make a go at it right now.”