At UFC: 116 Lesnar vs. Carwin the always exciting “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (28-17-5) will step into the Octagon and square off with TUF season 7 standout “Immortal” Matt Brown (11-8) in a showdown that has serious Fight of the Night potential. The pair last met in 2007 at United Fight League: Fight Night at Conseco Fieldhouse where Chris Lytle stopped “Immortal” via a second round guillotine choke but with an additional three years of full time training including time with Matt Hume in Seattle and the Throwdown Training Center in Las Vegas, Matt Brown should be more than ready for the rematch. This bout is most definitely most casual fan friendly match on the card. With both fighter’s tendency to stand and bang and always search for the finish, there is no reason to think this fight will be anything less than spectacular, especially considering that their first encounter was a fight worthy of a fight of the night nomination in terms of excitement on any organizations card.
At First Glance: The obvious choice when asked who will win this bout depends entirely on weather or not the person you are asking has seen the first fight. If you have, you will remember that Lytle was able to control the pace and land at will on the feet, and was clearly superior on the ground. If you haven’t seen that fight, one would almost immediately gravitate towards Matt Brown with his superior power and perceived grappling advantage. I say “perceived” because for some reason everyone tends to overlook Lytle’s BJJ black belt and the fact that the majority of his wins came via submission. If you look at this on paper, Its clear that Lytle holds all the cards as he has a decided edge on the mat and the boxing skills to avoid “Immortal’s” power.
Inside and Out: This fight is a shoe-in for Fight of the Night honors. Matt Brown and Lytle both have a dynamic style that casual and hardcore fans alike eat up. On one hand we have Brown’s powerful punches and punishing body kicks coupled with his improved submission game and on the other we have Lytle’s superior technical boxing, more advanced ground game, and wealth of high level experience. During the first fight, Lytle danced around “Immortal” and landed at will. When Brown connected with body kicks, he definitely buckled Chris but was unable to capitalize as Lytle either clinched or shot to gain time to recover. In the end, this will be “Lights Out” for Matt Brown. “Immortal” has definitely evolved as a fighter and most certainly has the power to put Lytle away if he gets sloppy trying to finish the fight, but in the end, the calm experienced technique of Lytle will prove to be “Immortal’s” undoing.
The Wild Card: The X factor in this fight is Brown’s power. Matt Brown has very impressive power especially in his body kicks. During their first bout, Brown found a home for these kicks every time he threw one. If Brown has developed his counter wrestling to stop the clinch attempts or if he has learned to throw strikes in 3-4 hit combinations, “Lights Out” could be in serious trouble. A good striking combination with the body kick as the first or second strike could cause Chris to run into a follow up lead hook or knee strike as he tries to grapple Brown in order to recover.
The Verdict: In the end, experience and technique will be the deciding factor in this barn burner of a war. Look for both men to bring the heat from bell to bell as Lytle finds a home for his hands on the body and chin of Matt Brown while using movement and fundamentally sound boxing to avoid the power of “Immortal.” While I have no doubt Lytle will slow as the fight wears on and Brown will start to land those crippling body kicks and heavy hands but I don’t see him being able to prevent “Lights Out” from taking the fight to the mat in response to those blows. Once on the ground, “Immortal’s” improved ground game will be tested against the much underrated submission game of Chris Lytle and I’m not convinced he’s up to snuff. Chris Lytle takes this fight by unanimous decision as Matt Brown proves he has improved enough to survive to the end of the fifteen minute time limit but not enough to get his revenge against “Lights Out”.