INDIANAPOLIS -- This Saturday, Chris Lytle will go to work in front of a home crowd for the first time in years. He plans to put on a show for the fans at Conseco Fieldhouse, but he is still focused on one thing: beating Matt Serra.
"I've got a job to do. Just go out and fight. Finish a fight. That's what I'm thinking about right now," Lytle said at the UFC 119 open workouts.
Serra walked into the workouts as Lytle was walking out. The two friends, who will be opponents in the Octagon on Wednesday, embraced and said hello. He lost his last fight with Serra in a split decision, but said he has grown as a fighter since that bout in late 2006.
"Before, for the last fight, my mentality was, I just want to win at all costs, and I don't care. I treated it too much as a competition, and I didn't go out there to fight. I just tried to compete in the sport. I don't like when people do that. The fights aren't as good. They're not as fun for me to watch and they're not as fun for me to do."
Lytle holds the UFC record for the most fight-night bonuses with seven, and with his mentality, it's easy to see why.
"I would rather come out and lose the best fight of my life in a split decision than win the worst fight of my life. I'd rather have the best fight of my life, and lose it,"
Since that fight with Serra, Lytle has fought 11 times. He is on a three-fight win streak, with his last win coming via armbar over Matt Brown at UFC 116. Though a win could help elevate him in the the welterweight division, he's only focused on Saturday night.
"I definitely feel like this is the biggest fight of my life, but all of them are," Lytle said with a smile.