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Chris Lytle retires from MMA, UFC on Versus 5 fight against Dan Hardy will be his last

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Just one night before he is set to square off against Dan Hardy at UFC on Versus 5, Chris Lytle has announced he will be retiring from MMA at the conclusion of tomorrow night's (Aug. 14) contest.

Lytle informed NBCSports of the decision, saying:

"I've been fighting since '98, fighting forever, a lot of it is just that I'm not doing my responsibilities like I need to at home. I feel like I'm not being the type of dad I want to. I got four kids and lots of times I feel just an immense sense of guilt for not being there in times when I should. ... This is going to be my last memory right here. I feel like I want to win this fight more than probably I have wanted to win any. I want the people to want more, like, 'Why is he gone? I want him to come back.' That would be my dream for it to end like that."

Apparently, Lytle made the decision months ago, essentially deciding that to continue his life of fighting would be selfish and inconsiderate to his family and the ones he loves.

For those of you that were watching the weigh-ins, Lytle could be seen handing UFC President Dana White an envelope. We know now that that was a thank you letter and the veteran welterweights personal way of letting his boss know that he was done.

In addition to his Octagon duties, "Lights Out" also has a full-time job as a firefighter in Indiana. In addition to that, he also recently formed an exploratory committee for a possible political run in 2012. That was not a chief influence in his decision to retire but his stepping away from the fight game definitely lends credence to the idea that he'll go through with it, provided his family his on board.

Lytle began his combat career in Feb. 1999 and amassed a 30-18-5 record in mixed martial arts to go along with a 13-1-1 record as a professional boxer.

His run through the UFC may have been marked with inconsistency, as his 9-10 record inside the Octagon shows, but he could always be counted on to provide a show, as evidenced by his winning eight fight night bonus awards in those 19 fights.

Will he end his career with a bang tomorrow night in a potential classic against "The Outlaw," who will be fighting for his job with the promotion?

All the ingredients are there and that's all Lytle truly wants to deliver. Say what you will about whether or not his fight should be the main event over Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson, the chances of fight fans leaving the show thoroughly entertained grew exponentially once Lylte was announced as a headliner.

Now that we know he's calling it a career at the conclusion of his fight tomorrow, it seems a fitting setting to end the run of a supremely talented but always slightly unheralded martial artist.

It was one hell of a run. Treat this as the Chris Lytle memorial thread, Maniacs. Sound off with your favorite memories, pics, .gifs and stories in the comments below.

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