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UFC's Chris Lytle Announces Retirement From Mixed Martial Arts

UFC welterweight and main event fighter for tonight's UFC on Versus 5, Chris Lytle announced he intended on retiring from professional fighting. According to Lytle, the decision centers on a desire to spend more time with his family and perhaps years of damage from participation in the sport. Lylte competes tonight against Dan Hardy making this Lytle's last professional fight. Here's what he told NBC Sports:

"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," he said. "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."

Lytle said he made up his mind "a few months ago" when he spent some quality time with his children while rehabbing injuries. Upon returning to the gym, Lytle said he felt "a guilt that I'm not used to" feeling.

"I just feel like I have a lot of things in my head that I feel guilty about," he said. "I have a great time fighting, and I love fighting — I want to do it all the time — but I think that sometimes it's time for me to not think about what I want and start thinking about what's best for other people."

Bloody Elbow adds further detail about the decision and overall career of Lytle:

He told the UFC about his decision earlier this week, and handed Dana White a letter at today's weigh-ins, which he stated was a thank you letter. He has been linked to a possible run for office in his home state of Indiana, but he said that didn't influence his decision.

Lytle (30-18-5) has been steadily employed by the UFC since 2006 on this run, but also fought for the organization in 2000 and 2003-2005. Of his 43 career fights, 19 have taken place in the octagon where he's gone 9-10, and he was a finalist on The Ultimate Fighter 4. He has won an incredible eight bonuses in his tenures, including five fight of the night checks. In 43 fights he has only been stopped twice, both due to cuts. He was never submitted or knocked out, despite taking some huge damage in fights.