While every fighter’s dream in the UFC is to become the champion of their weight class, Chris Lytle has only one focus at this point in his career and that is to be known as one of the world’s most consistently exciting fighters. In an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com the 34-year old octagon veteran said that he wants to be the kind of fighter that ‘makes people want to buy pay per views’.
Coming off of the heels of his fight of the night victory over Paul Taylor at UFC 89, Lytle will have another golden opportunity to establish himself as one of the UFC’s most electrifying athletes when he faces off with fellow professional boxer, Marcus Davis, as the two have publicly entered into a gentleman’s agreement that they will stand up and fight on the feet for the duration of the bout. Whether the agreement will be honored by both men remains to be seen but the fight already has all of the ingredients of an old fashioned slugfest. A slugfest with heavy consequences for either fighter.
Lytle and Davis both bounced back from disappointing losses and the match up between the two will move one fighter that much closer to title contention while leaving the other with that much longer of a road back up the ladder in the UFC’s talent rich welterweight division.
Cory Brady: I know that you are a full time fire fighter as well as having to train full time for the UFC. How do you split the two up?
Chris Lytle: I got pretty lucky that I working with the fire department. It’s a really great job as far as allowing me to train. I’ll work a 24 hour shift and then I’ll have 48 hours off, so I’ll do most of my training during those 48 hours that I have off. While I’m at the station I have a chance to do my weight lifting and my cardio and then I do all of my other training during the those two days that I have off.
Cory Brady: How are you feeling in the days leading up to your fight with Marcus Davis?
Chris Lytle: I’m really excited about this fight. I think it’s going to be a really good, exciting fight. It’s the kind of fight that I’ve been looking for. He’s the kind of guy that likes to stand up and trade and put on an exciting show. He’s a pro boxer and I’ve been a pro boxer as well, so I think it’s the exact kind of fight that both of us have been looking for.
Cory Brady: How do you feel you match up with Davis stylistically?
Chris Lytle: I think we match up pretty evenly. Both of our strengths is our stand up. I’ve had a lot of boxing matches and so has he and in addition to that I think that we both have an under rated ground game. If you combine all of those factors I think that we are very similar fighters with the main difference being that he’s left handed and I’m right handed.
Cory Brady: Have you been working with a lot of left handed guys in preparing for this fight?
Chris Lytle: I’ve definitely been working a lot with the left handed guys in the gym. We have a few different southpaws and guys that can switch it up and go back and forth, so I’ve been focusing a lot on that.
Cory Brady: Both of you guys are known for having terrific boxing. Do you think this fight has potential to turn into a slugfest?
Chris Lytle: It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this ended up being fight of the night. I’m not really planning on the fight going to the ground and I doubt he is either. That’s kind of what I’m anticipating. I’m expecting a stand up war.
Cory Brady: Coming off of your fight of the night performance with Paul Taylor it seems if you have been given another opportunity to have a standout performance in this match up. Will you be hoping for a consecutive fight of the night in this one?
Chris Lytle: Back to back fight of the night honors would definitely make me very happy. That’s my main goal this year, when people here that I’m going to be on the card I want them to want to order the pay-per-view because they know it’s going to be an exciting fight. I want to be in high demand and I want people to want to see my fights.
Cory Brady: What do you feel are some of your advantages you will have over Davis going into this fight?
Chris Lytle: I feel like I’m a little bit taller and that I’m going to have a little reach advantage against Marcus and I think that’s going to come into play. I also think that I’m a little awkward with my stand up and I think it’s going to be something that he hasn’t really seen before.
Cory Brady: Have you been spending any extra time focusing on your ground game preparing for Davis?
Chris Lytle: I have been working a lot on my ground game. I’ve been putting a lot of time into pretty much every aspect of my fight game so I’ll feel really good no matter where the fight goes. I don’t really have a one track mind when it comes to fighting. I can change it up whenever I need to.
Cory Brady: Do you think a convincing win over Marcus Davis will shoot you up in the rankings in UFC’s welterweight division?
Chris Lytle: Without a doubt the ultimate goal is to work my way up and get a shot at the title at some point. The problem is that the 170 pound division is just so stacked. The welterweight division is just ridiculous right now.
Cory Brady: What would be the perfect ending to this fight for you?
Chris Lytle: I’m always looking to win by knockout. I guess second place would be the submission win but definitely want the fight to be over before the final bell sounds. I don’t like going to decisions at all because I’ve lost a lot of close one’s. You just never know, I’ve seen some really close decisions so you just can’t leave your fate in the judges hands. When you have someone like him that has had a lot of experience in boxing I think that knockout is a little harder to get than most people think. If he’s been boxing for a while he’s probably had at least 10,000 punches thrown at his face so it will be that much easier to see it coming and get out of the way. I think the same thing goes for me. It’s a harder than most people think but nobody is above getting knocked out. I always hear about guy’s that have an iron chin, no way, if you get hit in the right place you’re getting knocked out. It can happen to anybody.
Cory Brady: It seems like a lot of people just expect that a fight between two strikers or two ground specialists will stay in the area that the fighters are the most comfortable but a lot of times they will neutralize each other it whatever area they specialize in. So we end up seeing two strikers in a wrestling match or two wrestlers on the feet banging. Do you think that this fight has the potential to turn out that way?
Chris Lytle: Yeah, it’s funny, that does happen a lot. You’ll get two guys that are really good at jiu-jitsu and they’ll be sitting there banging it out and you’re sitting there like, ‘What?’. I’m not really anticipating that in this fight though. I definitely think you’re going to end up seeing a lot of stand up.
Cory Brady: What can people expect to see from Chris Lytle in the future?
Chris Lytle: I think last year was fantastic year for me. I think I won submission, knockout or fight of the night in like four of my last five fights. I want to make sure that by the end of this year for everyone to want to see every fight I’m in. I want to be the kind of fighter that makes people want to buy pay per views just because I’m going to be on it.
Cory Brady: Would you like to have another fight with Paul Taylor at some point?
Chris Lytle: Oh yeah, I would do another fight with him. That’s the exact kind of fight that I’m looking for right now. I want to fight anyone that’s willing to get in there and bang it out and put on a good show with me. I didn’t realize how good of a chin that he had. Paul was extremely tough and I look for really great things from him in the future. Those are the kinds of fights that I’m looking for right now.So him or anyone else that fights like him, yeah, bring it. Just putting on fantastic, entertaining fights is what I’m all about right now.
Cory Brady: Any plans to return to boxing at some point down the road?
Chris Lytle: Ever since I’ve been under a UFC contract for the last few years it has kind of been a no-no. They won’t let you box. They kind of control when you fight and who you fight and to be honest with you, things have been a lot better with the UFC than with boxing. I wouldn’t mind having another boxing match or two at some point in my career but if it doesn’t happen, that’s alright too. I just couldn’t see myself giving up mixed martial arts for boxing because MMA is where my heart is at right now.
Cory Brady: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Chris Lytle: MMA Agents are always doing good work for me and my boys over at TapouT are always helping me out. Also, Full Tilt Poker, I’m a big poker guy.