Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Lytle Expects Another Barnburner Against Paul Taylor

Originally posted on

t was a different world when Chris Lytle stepped into the Octagon for the first time back at UFC 28: “High Stakes.” The UFC was nearing its death knell, only months away from being purchased by Zuffa, LLC. Lytle was a plucky 26 year-old with an already long list of international credits through his work in Japan’s Pancrase. He lost his debut against Ben Earwood by decision, but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

“Back then, there weren’t that many great fighters,” he says with a chuckle.

In the UFC of 2008, things have changed a little. The premier MMA organization claims to have over 200 fighters under contract, enough to fill their 30-plus events per year. Even with so many cards, competition is so intense that a bad performance can end a career in the Octagon.

“I don’t know if it’s because it became so much more popular, or just how things have gone, it just seems like there’s more at stake every time,” Lytle concurs. “The organization has grown at the rate where everything’s just more amplified and important. Everything seems like it’s all or nothing.”

Lytle has been blessed to have few unexciting fights in the UFC, but many of them have not gone his way. His next fight against Paul Taylor at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England on October 18 is his twelfth for the organization (4 wins and 8 losses), and has been characterized by Tom Gerbasi of as a “must win.” But Lytle says he’s past that point in his career.

“I feel like I’m in a good place. It’s not so much ‘I’ve got to get this win.’ I’d rather just be in great, exciting fights. I’m just worried about fighting as hard as I can. If I do that, good things are going to happen. I’ve been in the place before where all you’re thinking about is ‘I’ve got to win this fight.’ A lot of the guys close to the top rankings, that’s how they fight. They’re not as entertaining to watch anymore.”

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