UFC on Versus 5 Fight Card: Will This Be Chris Lytle's Last Fight?

Matt Saccaro@@mattsaccaroContributor IIIJuly 15, 2011

Chris "Lights Out" Lytle is one of the most experienced competitors on the UFC roster with over 50 fights. He has had 17 fights in the UFC so far, but will his 18th against Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy at UFC on Versus 5 be his last?

There is only one man who knows for sure—Chris Lytle—but that fact shouldn't stop harmless speculation about the Indiana native's fate in the UFC.

Lytle first came to the UFC in 2000 for UFC 28. His record was 5-5-3 and he lost a decision to Ben Earwood (who?). Lytle would return to the UFC three years later but still wouldn't be victorious, this time dropping a decision to Robbie Lawler.

Since the loss to Lawler, Chris Lytle has gone 8-8 over the last eight years. More recently in his career, there was talk of a title shot. Lytle had won four straight, which included a win over former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra, and many believed that with another victory or two, Lytle could be facing Georges St-Pierre for the championship.

The enigmatic Australian Brian Ebersole put a stop to these talks by defeating Lytle via decision at UFC 127. Because of the loss, Lytle is now in a difficult spot.

He has lost all of his momentum, has to start back from the bottom of the division, and is 36 years old. Even worse, he is set to face dangerous striker Dan Hardy and it's likely that the crowd-pleasing Lytle (he is a five-time fight of the night winner)—will elect to stand and trade rather to exploit the Brit's weak grappling.

If Lytle wins, it's possible that it could be his last fight. After all, what's better than riding off into the sunset victorious? But this doesn't seem like Lytle's style; he is a true fighter and as long as he has the ability to keep winning, he will keep fighting!

If Lytle loses, this may well be his last fight.

He will be on a two-fight losing streak and will turn 37 four days after the fight. It may be a good time to hang it up after that but Lytle's aforementioned fighting spirit may keep him from doing that.

The UFC, always in need of an exciting fighter, will probably give him another chance anyway should he lose.

So, will this be his last fight? Probably not unless it's a loss coming by way of a devastating knockout or some other calamity; UFC president Dana White doesn't like to see fighters—specifically older ones—get punished like that.