Life after the Octagon: Chris Lytle thankful for the UFC and 'Fight Night' bonuses

Chris Lytle lands a right hand on Brian Ebersole at UFC 127. Lytle won "Fight of the Night" honors in a losing effort. Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.

Chris Lytle can best be described as a hard-working mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who brought it every time, fight after fight, round after round.

Though he never reached ‘championship' status with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization throughout his 12-year on-and-off tenure, he did, however, entertain fans worldwide with his exciting push-the-pace style that never disappointed and left many clamoring for more.

Not one to shy away from taking risks inside the Octagon, the former welterweight would often times throw caution to the wind, preferring to let his fists fly and letting them land where they may in a fighting style one can label as 'controlled chaos.'

His 2007 bout with Thiago Alves at UFC 78 was a perfect example.

The two stood toe-to-toe, exchanging heavy leather until a cut above Lytle's eyes forced the doctor to put a halt to the action. Though the fight was stopped and only lasted two rounds, it was still good enough to best the rest of the card's action and win "Fight of the Night" honors.

As with anything in life, with great risk comes great reward.

Lytle, for one, can attest to that by earning 10 "Fight Night" bonuses throughout his time with the UFC including: six "Fight of the Night," one "Knockout of the Night" and three "Submission of the Night" bonuses totaling up to $435,000 in extra coin.

In a conversation with UFC.com, Chris reflects on how all of his hard work inside the Octagon and the generosity of the ZUFFA higher ups has helped he and his family receive a financial freedom few get to enjoy:

"I'm just trying to set up for our future. And the bonuses have meant a certain level of freedom, of not having to worry about different things. I don't have to worry about how [my family] is going to get by or pay for this or go there. I have been able to make a few different investments, I have a few properties now and a business that I'm involved with. It is amazing the amount of freedom that they have given me. I have always felt a sense of loyalty and duty and responsibility to the UFC because of this. They've given me the opportunity to do this. I've always taken a great deal of pride in my being the only provider for my family. There's six people I'm responsible for and it is good peace of mind knowing that I've been able to do that. It has helped me feel better about myself. If there's something that needs taking care of, it's going to get taken care of and I'm the one taking care of it."

Only Joe Lauzon and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva have more bonus awards under their belt, with 11 and 12 respectively.

In his retirement fight against Dan Hardy back on Aug. 14, 2011, "Lights Out" earned both "Fight of the Night" and "Submission of the Night" honors, netting him a cool $130,000 in bonuses alone.

Not a bad way to go out.

After coming up short in his bid for a seat on the Indiana State Senate earlier this year, Chris returned to his roots and continues to be one of Indiana's ‘Bravest,' working full time for the Indianapolis Fire Department.

In what was truly a fun and entertaining career, Lytle has gone on to a great life away from fighting, leaving behind a bevy of great moments, memorable fights and exciting performances for every fight fan to enjoy for years to come.

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