Lytle informed NBC Sports’ Ariel Helwani earlier this evening that he will retire, win or lose, following his fight with Hardy so he can spend more time with his family.
“I’ve been fighting since ’98, fighting forever, a lot of it is just that I’m not doing my responsibilities like I need to at home,” he said. “I feel like I’m not being the type of dad I want to. I got four kids and lots of times I feel just an immense sense of guilt for not being there in times when I should.”
“I just feel like I have a lot of things in my head that I feel guilty about,” he said. “I have a great time fighting, and I love fighting — I want to do it all the time — but I think that sometimes it’s time for me to not think about what I want and start thinking about what’s best for other people.”
Lytle was said to be considering retirement following his loss to Brian Ebersole earlier this year, but it wasn’t until “a few months ago” when he got to spend time with his family while rehabbing injuries that he decided to call it a career after the Hardy fight. Lytle kept the news under wraps until he could personally inform Dana White and the UFC of his decision this week in Milwaukee.
Lytle will continue his career as a full-time firefighter and may even make a run for a seat in the Indiana State Senate or House, but that will depend if it will still leave him enough time with his family.
As for his final fight, Lytle says he wants to win it more than any other fight before it. He wants people to wonder why he’s gone.
“This is going to be my last memory right here,” he said. “I feel like I want to win this fight more than probably I have wanted to win any. I want the people to want more, like, ‘Why is he gone? I want him to come back.’ That would be my dream for it to end like that.”
If it’s anything like his previous fights, I think that’s a question plenty of people will be asking. Chris Lytle will definitely be missed.