Chris Lytle ends UFC career with win
Before he stepped into the Octagon on Sunday night at Bradley Center in Milwaukee, welterweight slugger Chris Lytle announced it would be his last fight.
The man standing across from him in the cage, Dan Hardy, was fighting to keep his UFC career alive.
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Lytle won't be coming back to UFC, and it is very like Hardy won't either.
For the fourth time in a row, Hardy failed to leave the Octagon victorious. After going toe-to-toe for nearly three full rounds, Lytle applied a choke that forced Hardy to tap at 4:16 of the third round.
Lytle leaves the UFC to devote more time to his family. But his performance will be remembered for a long time.
Lytle-Hardy By The Numbers
|Sig. Strikes||127 of 271||61 of 238|
|Total Str.||134 of 278||63 of 240|
|Takedowns||0 of 0||1 of 2|
He and Hardy kept their promise to put on an entertaining fight. Each man landed punishing strikes and neither took a backward step.
But in the final minute of the bout, Hardy found himself inside a Lytle guillotine and could not escape.
It was a fitting end to a career that saw Lytle compile a record of 31-18-5.
I honestly love being a fighter. I love being part of the UFC," Lytle said. "I probably love it more than anything in my life, except for one thing and that's my family.
"It is time for me to dedicate more time to them. Although it pains me, I am definitely making the right choice."
Hardy might find the decision UFC makes about his future painful. The former top 170-pounder has not won a fight since November 2009 and his overall record has slipped to 23-10 with one no contest.
Henderson derails Miller's title run
But Henderson refused to be anyone's stepping stone. The former WEC 155-pound champion handed Miller the worst defeat of his career.
The judges scored it 30-27, 29-28 and 30-26. ESPN.com scored the fight 30-27 for Henderson.
Henderson was too fast and too strong for Miller, who carried a seven-fight win streak going into the bout. Miller was so thoroughly outclassed in the standup in which he relied almost exclusively on submission attempts. But Henderson never lost his cool when placed in a vulnerable position. He simply responded with hard punches to Miller's body.
By the second round, Miller's face was a bloody mess.
"I beat people up, it's what I do," Henderson said after handing Miller the third loss of his professional career.
Henderson is now 2-0 inside the UFC. He is 14-2 overall.
Miller goes back to the drawing board with a record of 20-3.
Cerrone drops Oliveira in first
A left to the midsection floored Oliveira, who is 0-2 with one no contest in his past three fights. When Olveira went down, Cerrone began unleashing left and right punches.
The referee jumped in and called this bout off at the 3:01 mark.
"This was a good style matchup for me," Cerrone said. "I knew he was going to be right there in my face."
With the victory, Cerrone improved to 16-3, with one no contest. He has won five fights in a row.
Oliveira saw his professional record fall to 14-2, with one no contest.
Ludwig wins by decision
Duane Ludwig possesses solid Muay Thai skills, but his game has improved far beyond striking as he proved by using his punching and kicking techniques to bust up Amir Sadollah en route to a unanimous decision.
All three judges scored this welterweight bout 29-28 for Ludwig, who also displayed improved takedown defense against Sadollah.
"I've been doing this this since I was 15," said Ludwig, who won his 21 professional fights against 11 losses. "Not to be boastful, but I'm good at what I do.
"I'm not playing. I'm a mixed martial artist."
Sadollah came on strong in the final round, but it was too little too late. His record now stands at 5-3.
Hamman beats Dollaway by TKO
The former light heavyweight, who had dropped two of his three light heavyweight bouts before taking on Dollaway at 185 pounds, was the fresher fighter in the second round.
Dollway had a solid opening round, where he landed several hard strikes and nearly submitted Hamman. But he was overwhelmed by Hamman in the second round.
"I have the greatest coaches in the world," Hamman said. "I'm not very good, but those guys believe in me.
"It's my coaches. That's the only reason why I'm good."
Hamman improved to 12-3; while Dollaway has dropped two straight and is 11-4 overall.
Benavidez' speed wears on Wineland
Benavidez used his footwork to control the distance and his quick striking proved too much for Wineland, who failed to win a round in this bantamweight showdown. Wineland, whose nose was bloodied by a Benavides right-left combination in the first round, never adjusted to the smaller fighter's quickness.
"I definitely wanted to exploit him on the ground, but he has good takedown defense," said Benavidez, who improved to 15-2-0. "But I can stand with anybody in the division.
"I was looking to get him to the ground." All three judges scored the fight 30-27 for Benavides. ESPN.com also scored it 30-27 for Benavides.
Wineland was hoping to rebound from his loss to Benavides' teammate Urijah Faber in March. He has now lost two in a row as his professional mark slips to 18-8-1.
Herman submits Noke in first
Noke landed several hard punches in the standup early, but the fight turned in Herman's favor once the action went to the ground.
"I was trying to attack," Herman said. "He's a tough opponent, but I got him. I heard [the knee] crunch and pop. I heard him cringe."
Herman (21-7-0) picked up his second straight win. Noke, who is now 19-5-1, saw his win streak end at five.
Markes beats Vemola in UFC debut
The Brazilian, with solid Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu skills, took Vemola down repeatedly for three rounds in his UFC debut to earn a unanimous decision.
All three judges scored the fight for Markes, 30-27. ESPN.com also saw it for Markes, 30-27.
Markes improved to 12-1. Vemola, who has dropped two of his three UFC bouts, fell to 8-3 overall.
Hettes submits Caceres to remain unbeatenAfter a back-and-forth opening round, Jimy Hettes turned up the aggression in the second to submit Alex Caceres at the 3:12 mark.
The opening round consisted of many transitions as each featherweight was able to gain an edge. But in the second round, Hettes threw Caceres to the ground where he took control and applied a rear-naked choke.
"Every time I was on the ground going for something, I heard my trainer, Kris McCray, saying something," said Hettes, who improved to 9-0. "Luckily, I train with a lot of good wrestlers. It's a good mix of judo and wrestling."
Caceres (5-4-0) now waits to learn if his days in UFC are over, after dropping his second straight official fight inside the Octagon.
Miller drops, submits O'Brien
Cole Miller showed off his improved standup skills by landing a counter left hook that dropped T.J. O'Brien in the second round. From there, Miller was able to apply a guillotine at the 2:38 mark that forced O'Brien to tap.
"I'm glad I dropped him because I think I broke my right hand in the first round," Miller said.
O'Brien started strong in the opening round by using his reach advantage to connect with rights punches and front kicks, but Miller came on strong late in the round to make it close.
Miller improves to 18-5-0, while O'Brien slips to 16-5-0.
Volkmann grounds out win over Castillo
All three judges scored the fight 29-28 for Volkmann. ESPN.com had Volkmann winning 30-27.
Volkmann caused a stir after defeating Antonio McKee in January, when he asked to fight President Barack Obama. He made no reference to the President after improving to 13-2.
Castillo (11-4) had success standing, but the majority of this fight was fought on the ground. Volkmann, the better submission tactician attempted to submit Castillo several times in the bout.
Figueroa beats Reinhardt for first Octagon win
But his superior standup skills proved too much for Reinhardt, who refused to engage in the striking game. When on the ground, Figueroa landed several hard right hands that rendered Reinhardt defenseless.
The fight was stopped at 50 seconds of the second round. Reinhardt (20-3-0) has now lost two in a row.
Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil.
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