Lytle weighing options after defeat
It was a gruesome sight to see. UFC welterweight Chris Lytle on the mat, trapped against the chain-link fence, a pool of blood expanding from beneath his head.
No cut in recent memory bled like the one Lytle sustained against Josh Koscheck at UFC 86. It was a sight sponsors cringe at, and for Lytle, the worst-case scenario -- another night trapped under a world-class wrestler.
Rest assured, though, that Lytle is okay. MMAWeekly.com caught up with him back in his home of New Palestine, Ind., where he still works as a full-time firefighter.
"I'm feeling fine, it was just a nasty cut," he said. "I've got my stitches and I'm feeling fine."
Even as he was stood up in the final minute of the third round, his face dyed the color of "Hellboy," Lytle was game.
"I could see everything and I was trying to hit him, but he was moving a lot," he continued. "I thought it was my one chance, I better get going. He did a good job of moving away."
It's not the first time a cut has drastically altered the course of his fight. Lytle's bout with Thiago Alves at UFC 78 was stopped after the second round due to a cut over his eye. That one bled badly as well. A nine-year veteran of MMA and boxing, Lytle has his fair share of scar tissue around his eyes.
Fighters often undergo plastic surgery to have excess scar tissue removed. EliteXC fighter Nick Diaz recently had his ocular bone shaved down to prevent cutting during fights. Lytle has not considered surgery, due to the fact that the cut he sustained Saturday was on a different part of his face.
"If it was the same area getting cut repeatedly, then I'd have to look into it. I never really thought it was an issue."
Though after Saturday, it might be something he needs to look at. Lytle doesn't know how much blood he lost, but said he felt exhausted when he stood up in the third round.
"I didn't really feel woozy," he said. "I felt like I could bounce around a little bit, but I felt more exhausted than usual. I think that's pretty normal."
Lytle has one fight remaining on his UFC contract. Since emerging from the fourth season of "The Ultimate Fighter," he has won three of seven appearances in the Octagon. He has often struggled against wrestling-based fighters. Lytle makes it clear that he wishes to remain with the UFC, but may be open to other offers if the numbers aren't right.
"I haven't looked at my next fight," he said. "I'll probably do that and see where I stand, then find out my options, who would be interested in me. I'm a loyal person almost to a fault. Obviously, I feel like I would do whatever I could to stay with the UFC. They've been good to me. But I'd be stupid not to listen to everything that's out there right now."