August 14, 2011
MILWAUKEE -- Chris Lytle ended his MMA career with a bang at UFC on Versus 5 on Sunday night. Just after he announced his retirement, Lytle submitted Dan Hardy in the third round.
The fight started with both fighters throwing big, looping strikes. Both Hardy and Lytle landed clean punches, but both showed off their strong chins. Neither fighter let up as the round wore on. Lytle appeared to land more, but Hardy was never wobbled.
In the second round, the two continued to trade leather. Again, Lytle had a slight advantage, but also sustained a cut. He landed several square shots on Hardy's noggin, and gave him several big bumps.
As Lytle went to his corner for the last time in his career, he smiled at his corner men. He was clearly enjoying his last fight in the UFC.
Blood and spit leaked out of Hardy's mouth in the third round, as he continued to take punishment from Lytle. Hardy still had good movement and was still landing some shots. He tried for a takedown in the final two minutes, but ended up with Lytle on top. Lytle smoothly sunk in a guillotine, and choked Hardy at 4:16 in the third round.
Not a person in the Bradley Center sat as the official decision was read. They booed at the idea that he was leaving MMA.
"I love being a part of the UFC almost more than everything, except one thing, and that's my family. It's time I start putting them first," Lytle said after his win.
No matter what happened, this fight was destined to be special. Lytle announced this weekend that this was his last fight. Always loved by fans for his hold-nothing-back style, Lytle got to have his final fight in the Midwest, just a drive away from his home in Indianapolis. He now gets to leave with a win under his belt.
For Hardy, it was a chance to show that he still belonged in the Octagon. He had been on a three-fight losing skid, starting with losing to Georges St. Pierre in a title bout. It's hard to say what the future will bring for him, but four losses in a row rarely brings longevity.
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