Chris Lytle is prepared for what the next few days, weeks and months bring him.
Because, for the first time since 1998, they will not involve training for, or taking part in, fights.
Lytle (31-18-5) announced his retirement from MMA this past weekend, and put an exclamation point on his remarkable career by submitting Dan Hardy in the main event of UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle Sunday evening.
“Lights Out” earned two bonus honors, scoring Fight and Submission of the Night, giving him 10 for his career in 20 UFC bouts – a record he holds now over UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva.
“I’ve been fighting since January of 1998,” Lytle said. “It’s all I know, I think. It’s over a third of my life. My kids, that’s all they’ve ever seen – me fighting. It’s going to be real weird. I know that, and I know it’s going to be very hard for me. What would have been more hard is if I didn’t do this.”
Lytle’s debut came in the final fight of the pre-Zuffa UFC at UFC 28. He was a finalist on the “Comeback” season of The Ultimate Fighter, falling just short of a title shot in the finale.
“Obviously, I didn’t get my title,” Lytle said. “If you’re not fighting for the title, you need to reevaluate. I always have wanted that, but I definitely feel it’s my time to move on to other things, and I’m going to.”
Lytle, who has four kids and is a full-time firefighter, has made mention of plans to run for Senate in his home state of Indiana.
“I feel like I never really got the lucky break to get me where I needed to go,” Lytle said. “But I don’t believe in luck anyway. I think you just need to make your own luck, and it didn’t happen for me. I’m happy with my career, and I know I gave it my all.
“I still have a job at the fire department in Indianapolis. I have a family. I split up my time the best way I knew how to. I didn’t ever move away and say, ‘I’m going to dedicate my life to fighting.’ I said, ‘I’m going to do everything.’ I love everything I do, and I’m going to do everything I love. I’ve tried to do that to the best of my ability.”
For his efforts Sunday night, to go along with the bonus money he scored, Lytle was awarded a new Harley-Davidson thanks to a partnership worked out between the bike company and the UFC.