Good news for fans of the brash talking, hard-charging and even harder hitting heavyweight from Cypress, Texas, Derrick Lewis. “The Black Beast” spoke with Ariel Helwani of the MMA Hour and said do not be so sure you have seen the last of him inside of the octagon.
Lewis almost did not make it to the cage to compete against another outspoken fighter and the hometown Kiwi, Mark Hunt, at UFC Fight Night 110 in Auckland, New Zealand due to a back injury. However, true to his nickname, the former Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship trained and fought through the injury before ultimately coming up short when he lost via TKO stoppage late in the fourth round. It was only his third loss in the UFC.
The big man from the Gulf Coast said that the injury that he has been dealing with since 2011 not only played a factor in his performance that night, but it has been a problem during training for most of his career. Before that loss, Lewis looked to be closing in on a shot at the UFC title after winning six fights in a row (five of which were by KO) dating back to the Fall of 2015. In the interview with Helwani, the Texan said that he is hoping to return to action by late 2017 depending on the results of an MRI on his back scheduled for later this week.
“We’re just hoping that [I] don’t have to get surgery, because I thought about it a little bit, and it’s not going to be my last fight,” Lewis said with confidence. “I’m going to try to get back in there as soon as I can, and we’ll find out Wednesday, see what’s going on and if it’s not too serious. Hopefully, I can get back in there before the end of the year.”
The reoccurring injury reared it’s ugly head once again after he was already in New Zealand just days before the fight.
“Like two days before, my back was just real sore, and I knew — I was just hoping that I could work through it. I got a massage the day before and it just made everything even worse. And as the fight went on, it was just getting sorer and sorer…That was the second time it ever happened in a fight. The first time, I still won in the third round. I knocked the guy out in the third round whenever that happened the first time. And it happened again in the Mark Hunt fight, and it was like, damn, I couldn’t move at all. The best thing I could do was just stand there and just take it because it couldn’t move anymore.”
Lewis went on to say that the injury was hurting him so badly during the contest that he felt like he “couldn’t throw a punch because [he] couldn’t rotate [his] hips.”
The stoppage, he says, was a blessing in disguise. After the loss, to the surprise of fans watching that had no idea about the injury that Derrick had been dealing with, Lewis announced that he was seriously considering hanging up his gloves for good. That tune has now changed and as we know, fighters say all sorts of crazy things after fights have ended. This time was just odd because fans are used to Lewis saying things that you get a chuckle out of, like the time he said that a body kick from Travis Browne had not hurt him, he just appeared that way because he forgot to go “number 2” before the fight…then he asked “Where’s (Browne’s girlfriend) Ronda Rousey’s fine ass at?” Now he admits that the announcement of an early retirement was “just heat of the moment.” Both before and after the defeat, heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou, a man that Lewis has previously called out, took some shots at “The Black Beasts” on Twitter.
Lewis said I win Arlovski because he's old with 37 but Mark Hunt 43 years old beat he like a baby 😂😂😂
— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) June 11, 2017
Lewis you should use Google to figure out where New Zealand is and the weather. Lol https://t.co/x9iaet4Lkn
— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) June 13, 2017
Lewis was quick to respond to the criticism from his fellow fighters during Monday’s interview:
“Whenever the booty-scratcher started talking sh*t…That guy is not impressed with nobody, so it’s normal for him to say anything stupid”
He also addressed his former foe Travis Browne’s critique of his performance:
“Travis Browne don’t know what’s he thinking. Travis, he’s out there, man. That guy has been knocked out so many times, he’s been rocked so many times, he don’t know what to say. He’s just trying to stay relevant. He better be worrying about [his next fight] and not worried about me. It’s already done and over with between me and him.”
While Lewis would love to shut the Cameroonian-Frenchman up in his comeback fight, but for now, he is focused on getting healthy. His current plan is to take time off and heal up after fighting three times in both 2014 and 2015, and then four times in 2016, followed by two fights in less than four months during 2017.
“That’s one of the reasons why I said I wanted to retire, because whenever I go into a fight, I’m already thinking about some evil type stuff, and it was really affecting my household.” Lewis lamented. “So I was like, I just need some time off a little bit, try to work on my relationship with my family and stuff like that. And just by fighting all the time like that, it just put me in a bad mood all the time. And it just felt that stepping away for a little bit would be the best thing to do.”
As for the loss, Lewis is taking it in stride just as his outgoing personality would make you think that he would.
“It was still a good fight though. It was something that I expected, a tough fight. I didn’t want an easy fight, I wanted a tough fight, so I got what I wanted, it’s just a learning lesson. Like a lot of people have said, it’s not a bad loss to loss to Mark Hunt, so it’s really like a learning lesson. I know what I need to do to get prepared for my next battle.”
*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)
Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:
“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.
If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.
UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
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