Chris Lytle has been a staple of excellence dating back two decades. Starting his career back in 1998 he has ran the gauntlet of a combat sports career including a 10-10 record inside the UFC. After hanging up the gloves he’s back in competition under the Bare Knuckle Boxing banner , a journey that has brought him to 3-0 for the company.
He started out in London before taking part in BKB 2 back in August where he was the main event in Biloxi, Miss. He finished off Drew Lipton early in the first. He’s coming off a decision win on February 2nd in his third outing, this time taking place in Cancun, Mexico. Chris took some time to talk about the infancy of BKB and what he wants to do to help.
” I started back in 1998 and was in early but wasn’t at the beginning of the UFC. There were people then that I looked up to. I think it’s pretty cool for me to be at the beginning of this sport. It means alot actually to set the path for the younger generation. I fully expect it to be a contender in combat sports. I enjoy watching it. The fights are good and just as exciting as you see in boxing and MMA.”
In Cancun Lytle wasn’t the only local name on the card for us. Tom Shoaff was also on the card. When asked about him Lytle pepped up.
” Another Indiana boy on the card. He’s fantastic and a good fighter. In his first fight he got caught in a firefight. It was a good fight. He went into this fight he came in knowing that he was going to show he was a better fighter. He showed that he was a superior boxer. It was great”
Shoaff was is a Colosseum Combat veteran and Lytle has been calling the fights there for some time now. Lytle is a self admitted gym rat, often taking extra sparring rounds and even after 20 years in the business is a student of the game. I asked him what it’s like to have the up and coming fighters looking up to him and excited that he’s in the booth calling their fights.
I think it’s funny because that was me not too long ago. I guess it’s come full circle. I don’t think about it like that though, I just love to be around and do what I can to help the sport to grow mainstream. I do what I can to help that out. It’s good to be recognized for going out and putting on good fights and now people go out and try to emulate that. The thing I’ve learned about fighting is that when it comes to competing there is only one person that is undefeated and it’s father time.
When it comes to his skill sets and experience he hopes that he can pass it on to the next crop of fighters.
As a student of the game I’m not just in there to teach you moves or what to do. I want to teach you about everything. I’ve worked with good promoters and bad promoters, I’ve been ripped off plenty of times. I have learned from the school of hard knocks on what to do and what not to do so I hope I can pass that on to the next generation.
B2Digital, parent company of BluegrassMMA, HR MMA and Colosseum Combat announced earlier this week that Lytle had joined the newly formed B2 Fighting Series Fighter Advisory Board. I asked Chris about that appointment and what it means for local MMA.
“What people don’t realize is that people are going out to other places to get training. How many blackbelts are at American Top Team, 30? A lot of really good camps and fighters are all over. If you’re a guy that’s from Indiana or Kentucky you have to be training and fighting top competition. Steel sharpens steel. You don’t see many guys that aren’t training with top guys just come out and succeed. We have to put our resources together in the Midwest and not fight against each other to make things competitive. What we are doing and what Greg is doing is buying some local promotions and saying I know everyone wants their piece of the pie but we are going to try and make contenders. We aren’t trying to compete with the UFC we are trying to put people in the UFC. We are trying to be a AAA team. We want good fights and boost fighters that want to go to the next level. We don’t want people to go to the UFC and not succeed we want fighters to be ready to go and win fights there.”
When asked about what fighters he sees potential in he pointed to the VanCamp brothers. He says Ian Pomferet as an amateur is impressive but overall there is a lot of great talent. When it comes to the competition he has an idea of what will help.
” I want to see these guys get experience. I want to see them get out of their backyards and go out and get expereince. I like going into someone else’s place. I know Greg has a lot of contacts so we can send some guys their way and they send fighters to us. I don’t want to send people to the UFC anymore and go 0-3. I want good talent from here and I want people to stay here because we have resources to produce good fighters.”
Lytle will resume his duties as commentator on February 23rd in Kokomo for Colosseum Combat.
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