Chris Lytle has done it all. Been there, done that, got more than one T-shirt. For the purpose of the here and now, though, we’ll forget the fact he is a firefighter, as well as an all-round superhero, and concentrate instead on his time as both a professional boxer and mixed martial artist.
It’s particularly relevant now because on Saturday (August 26) a man from the boxing world, Floyd Mayweather, attempts to make a mockery of a man from the MMA world, Conor McGregor, inside a boxing ring in Las Vegas.
Lytle will, like the rest of us, watch the spectacle unfold on pay-per-view, all the while carrying a bank of knowledge and experience few possess, on account of a 13-1-1 pro boxing record and a 31-18-5 pro MMA record.
It’s why we listen. It’s why his view matters.
“It’s a different game,” said the fighter formerly known as ‘Lights Out’, now retired. “The distance is way different.
“Punching’s all they (boxers) do. If all you do is throw jabs, the best jab is going to win. It doesn’t matter how good your right hand or left hook is. So you’re basically taking away a lot of McGregor’s weapons – kicks, elbows, takedowns. All you’re throwing are hands and you’re limited to two weapons instead of ten.
“All Floyd has been doing since he came out the womb is boxing. Unless he slows down that much, which he’s not going to do in this amount of time, I just don’t see him getting hit.
“There’s nothing more I’d love than for Conor to knock him out. I like Conor. I think he’s a great fighter. But I would give him a very low-percentage chance of winning this fight.
“The problem for Conor is you get elite boxers who cannot hit Floyd. If Conor hits the guy five times in the fight, I will be impressed. Conor is a good boxer, not an elite boxer. He’s an elite MMA guy. Elite boxers don’t touch this guy. How do you get a guy who isn’t a true boxer to hit him? It’s not going to happen. Floyd has seen everything this guy is going to have to offer.”
That said, Lytle, 43, doesn’t begrudge McGregor going out there and trying. Nor would he ever have advised the Irishman to walk away from what constitutes a life-changing opportunity and payday.
“No disrespect to Conor,” said Lytle. “He’s doing the smartest, best thing of any fighter in MMA. He’s making maybe 100 million dollars on this. He never has to fight again in his life if he doesn’t want to. He can hype the s**t out of this fight and it will do great stuff.”