Fourteen-fight UFC veteran Chris Lytle (26-17) will go for number 15 when he locks horns with Kevin Burns (7-2) in a welterweight tilt set for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 Finale at "The Pearl" at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 20.
"Lights Out" is coming off yet another "Fight of the Night" performance in his most recent outing, slugging it out with Marcus Davis for three rounds at UFC 93: "Franklin vs. Henderson" on Jan. 17. As usual, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 4 runner up turned in a sparkling performance; however, he was once again on the wrong end of a split decision.
Lytle has now dropped three of his last five fights and five of his last nine. But that hasn't stopped the organization from extending the contract of the father of four and inviting him back because of his electric performances -- he always leaves it inside the cage.
Now the Indiana fireman -- who has lost to former champions Matt Serra and Matt Hughes, as well as current number one contender Thiago Alves and Josh Koscheck during the span mentioned above -- will attempt to get back on the winning track when he touches gloves with Burns during the Spike TV special.
Burns is also coming off a tough loss to Anthony Johnson at TUF 8 Finale in Dec. 2008, absorbing a wicked head kick that had him out before he hit the canvas in the third round. It was a solid fight up until that point and it looked like it was headed for the judges scorecards.
It never got that far.
The Des Moines, Iowa-based fighter had previously scored a controversial technical knockout win over "Rumble" in their first encounter at UFC Fight Night 14 in July 2008. Burns dropped Johnson with an illegal eye poke, which later required surgery to repair. Unfortunately, the referee didn't see exactly what happened and called a halt to the bout prematurely.
Let's hope we don't see similar shenanigans when Burns and Lytle hook 'em up on fight night. It should be a solid scrap -- Burns has shown that he is comfortable on his feet and does not shy away from going toe-to-toe. We all know what Lytle can do.
And if the fight does hit the mat both fighters have demonstrated strong submission skills to win it there, too, if necessary.
TUF 9 will debut on April 1 and feature the lightweight and welterweight finales for the upcoming ninth season of TUF with coach Dan Henderson leading a US team against coach Michael Bisping and his British squad. The finalists from those divisions will also be featured on the televised Spike TV main card on June 20.
Diego Sanchez is expected to headline the show in a lightweight match against Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson and Nate Diaz are also likely to tangle in another fantastic 155-pound showdown. I love it when a good card comes together.
For more on TUF 9 Finale click here.