Chris Lytle isn’t about to think about what’s next after he fights Matt Serra at UFC 119.
The last time he did that against Serra, it resulted in a split decision loss, and Lytle has no plans on repeating that all over again.
“I’m really excited because last time I felt either one of us went to try and fight. We tried to manage a fight and not lose,” Lytle said. “We’re both looking to redeem ourselves in fighting.”
Lytle (29-17-5) and Serra (11-6) fought in November 2006 at the Ultimate Fighter: The Comeback finale.
After surviving living in the Ultimate Fighter house, the two met in the welterweight finals and were fighting for a title shot.
Serra did enough to earn the victory on that night, earning the shot for the strap and the rest is pretty much known in MMA’s brief but exciting history — Serra’s improbably upset of Georges St-Pierre to become the UFC welterweight champion.
Lytle recalls the first as the last time, he carried the win at all cost mentality.
When it didn’t pan out, Lytle went back to his go-for-broke style.
It’s a philosophy that has made Lytle into an instant fan favorite.
“It’s a fight,” Lytle said. “You gotta try and finish the guy. If you’re just trying to manage the clock. That’s not what it’s supposed to be. That’s not what people want to see.”
“Last time (against Serra), I tried to manage the clock. … I can’t control if I lose a split decision, but I can control how I fight.”
The results since the Serra bout: A 7-4 stretch in the UFC and seven bonus checks — four fight of the night, a pair of submission of the night and a knockout of the night.
Lytle agreed that fighting a high-risk, high-reward, thrilling style has its downsides, but he also added that fighters with that mindset tend to have longer careers in the UFC along with getting more opportunities to fight for titles faster.
“If you go out there and put on a very conservative type of fight, you might have to win 18 of them in a row to get a title shot,” Lytle said. “If I pull off some crazy stuff, they want to put you forward. They want you to be seen and they’re going to reward that. … It’s definitely more dangerous.”
A win over Serra would give Lytle his fourth consecutive victory in the Octagon, which would also be the longest win streak in his Lytle’s career.
He wasn’t going to comment on what could be next, remembering the consequences of the last time he did such a thing.
“I don’t want to think about it and fight the way I know I can fight,” he said. “I feel I can be victorious. I’ll let the UFC decide that. I’ll tell what I think, first and foremost and I have to fight my fight, and afterwards start thinking of what’s next.”