Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy and Chris “Lights Out” Lytle are set to throw down at UFC On Versus 5 in Milwaukee this Sunday night.
Let’s take a quick look at both combatants.
Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy, with a record of 4-3 in the UFC, was riding a wave of success with four straight wins against the likes of Mike “Quick” Swick, Marcus Davis, Rory Markham and Akihiro Gono.
His win over Mike Swick would be his last; it would be a downward spiral from there on in. His challenge for welterweight king, Georg St Pierre’s UFC belt, would start the rot. His lack of both wrestling skills and his take down defense in that fight was apparent for all to see. What followed were successive losses to Carlos Conduit, who put him to sleep, and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who earned a unanimous decision win.
That was then, tonight is now. The “Outlaw” desperately needs a victory, and with that comes redemption. A loss and it’s more than likely that Dana White will give him his marching orders.
What Hardy lacks in the skills department, he more than compensates for it with his relentless brawling and willingness to put it all on the line. In a nutshell, he wears his heart on his sleeve. But will that be enough to send Chris Lytle permanently into retirement? Much has been publicized about Dan’s KO power; it should be taken on board that in his fighting career he has only ever scored two knockouts by punches, both in the UFC.
Chris “Lights Out” Lytle has a not so impressive record of 9-10 in the UFC. Up until he met Brian Ebersole, he was on a four-fight winning streak. His victims: Matt Serra, Matt Brown, Brian Foster and Kevin Burns.
It should be noted that Chris has never been knocked unconscious in his MMA career. And in a business where knocking out an opponent is prevalent, that takes some doing. Of all Lytle’s defeats, 16 have come by way of decision and two by way of TKO due to a doctor stoppage because of cuts.
Lytle also has the most UFC Fight bonuses (Eight to be exact), save for Anderson Silva with whom he shares the honours with.
Win, lose or draw, this will be Lytle's last fight. He apprised NBC Sports last night that he would be retiring after his show down with Dan Hardy. The reason, he cited, was that he felt he was neglecting his responsibilities and thus needed to spend more quality time with his family.
Lytle can take this fight to the ground and put his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu to great effect (He has an impressive 21 submission wins from 30 victories), or he can stand and bang with his aggressive striking style.
Is this the “Outlaw’s” last hurrah or will he ride off into the sunset and get straight back into the welterweight mix?
Or will Chris turn Out the Lights as he leaves behind a storied career?
One thing is for certain, one or both of these gladiators’ careers will end their affiliation with the Zuffa-based company that is the UFC.