UFC veteran Chris Lytle retired from mixed martial arts competition after a triumphant victory against Dan Hardy at UFC Live 5: Lytle vs. Hardy in August 2011, but his desire to compete at a high level burns on, as he searches for new opportunities and challenges.
"I think after about three or four rounds he's going to experience the fact that he has been boxing 30 years, and he's going to slow down from it," Lytle told Bleacher Report. "I think as the third of fourth rounds come to an end, I'll start picking up my pace and really start dominating after that. I don't see him knocking me out, and I don't see me getting stopped, so I think it's going to be a tough night for Roy."
Before trying out for Season 4 of the UFC's hit reality television show The Ultimate Fighter, Lytle posted an impressive 13-1-1 record in professional boxing competition. After deciding to try his hand at MMA, however, his boxing career abruptly ended, and he views the bout with Jones Jr. as an opportunity to gain some closure on that chapter of his combat sports career.
"I've always wanted to have another boxing match," Lytle said. "I'm not really willing to get back into MMA; I like the way MMA ended for me. I thought [the Jones Jr. fight] sounded like a great idea, and I was like, 'Man, I've always wanted to have another boxing match, but I just never had the opportunity to do it.'"
While much talk circulated in the past regarding a Jones Jr. fight against other MMA stars like Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, Lytle feels he is the best-equipped fighter to tackle this cross-sport challenge against somebody of Jones Jr.'s stature.
"I can't think of anybody else who's affiliated with the UFC or mixed martial arts who really make sense for this," Lytle said. "I was 13-1-1 in boxing, and I beat a few good prospects. I just had to stop due to MMA."
Who takes it?
Making a potential showdown with Jones Jr. even tastier, Lytle said he can be ready to go in short order. The former UFC welterweight said he still boxes regularly, and he has spent a considerable amount of time recently helping local boxers prepare for their own bouts inside the ring.
With this, Lytle feels he could make the fight with Jones Jr. a reality within a couple of months.
"I know I'm in boxing shape, and I know I could go the distance without having any problems," Lytle said. "I think I could get a six-to-eight-week camp in and be ready to go."
Lytle's submission victory over Hardy in 2011 served as a storybook conclusion to his MMA career, and now the Indiana native said he sees the fight with Jones Jr. as an opportunity to bookend his boxing career with another dramatic, dreamlike victory.
"I've been watching Roy Jones forever, and there was probably a 10-year period where he was the best boxer in the world, in my opinion, bar none—just dominating," Lytle said. "I've always seen Roy as that fighter, and just being able to go in and compete and get a victory over a guy like that...that'd be a dream come true."