Round one saw both men making good on their promise to engage in a stand-up battle.
Both men were playing to type with Hardy looking to lead with hooks, while Lytle was throwing hurting shots to the body and slightly wilder bombs to head. Of the two it was Lytle who appeared to be getting the better of it, and by the end of the round he was snapping Hardy’s head back at times with his strikes.
Early in the second it was again Lytle who was doing the better work, but then Hardy started to turn things around. A big right hand wobbled Lytle, and then a little later another right hand again appeared to buckle the veteran fighter momentarily.
Always a gamer Lytle didn’t back down though and instead got right back into the action and edged the rest of the round making it a difficult one to score.
Onto the final round and Hardy appeared to be tiring and was perhaps relying too heavily on landing his favored left lead hook without much success while Lytle continued to work effectively to the body and is having more success with his own hooks.
With the fight slipping out of Hardy’s grasp he presses forward in the final minute hoping to land something big. In desperation he shoots in for a takedown, but it proves to be a costly mistake as the submission savvy Lytle immediately locks in a guillotine and rolls on top.
Hardy tries to fight it but there’s nothing he can do and after holding on as long as he can he reluctantly taps.
So Lytle bows out of the sport with a big win and the type of battle that he had wished for pre-fight.
As for Hardy, after a 4-0 start to his time in the UFC he’s now gone 0-4 since and it looks as if his future in the UFC could be at an end for the time being.