Chris retires with an unofficial record of 31-18-5, though I’m sure he has more fights than that. What sets him apart is that when his official record started being tallied, he fought in Japan where he learned a great submission game that he supplemented later with boxing. Few credit his ground game, but he walks away from over 50 fights never having been submitted.
But let me tell you a story of how old school this kid really is. Sherdog’s database has it wrong, let me set the record straight.
Let’s go to Tell City, Indiana. It was March of 2000, the sport wasnt what it is today. There were no rounds it was a 30 minute fight. His opponent, CJ Fernandes was TOUGH, he made it to UFC, fought on UFC 27 if I recall.
Lytle, who never was a great wrestler rushed in, pulled guard and he had a triangle on CJ in the opening minute. CJ picked him up and slammed him. HARD. The fight continued for 11 more minutes (no idea why sherdog has it at 4 minutes or so) and Lytle won by triangle choke. The 300 people in the little War Memorial where the fights were went nuts.
Afterwards Chris went to the promoter, to get paid. His pay was $400 dollars. He took the cash, and said ‘can you help me’. You see that slam in the opening minute of the fight had broken his clavicle. He showed it to the promoter, it was practically sticking through his skin.
Chris Lytle had fought for nearly 10 minutes with a snapped clavicle, and he had won. And in the year 2000, he did it for $400 lousy bucks.
You just cannot understand the type of heart this kid took with him every time he went into the Octagon.
In 2000, HOOKnSHOOT was a small but solid promotion, and they paid his medical bills. Others may not have been so lucky in that day and age and we all owe a debt to the UFC for lifting the sport from those dark ages.
But we also need to pause and give thanks to guys like Chris Lytle who contributed more than most to making the sport what it is today.