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‘Depressed’ Derrick Lewis thinks he’s still in a good Heavyweight spot thanks to UFC drug cheats

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Lewis vs Browne Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Considered to be one of the more promising contenders in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight division, Derrick Lewis hit a roadblock in his previous outing, losing to Mark Hunt via fourth round knockout at UFC Fight Night 110 earlier this year.

After ending his short-lived thought of retiring, “Black Beast” hoped to rebound from his first-ever loss as he was lined up to face Fabricio Werdum at UFC 216 earlier this year before a back injury forced him out.

After contemplating retirement, suffering his first loss and going through injuries, Lewis says it took a toll on him, especially since other combatants who were neck-and-neck with him — such as Francis Ngannou — have risen while he has had to tread water.

“The past few months, they have been depressing a little bit – seeing other guys rise, and I’m still in the same position I’m in,” said Lewis during a recent interview with MMA Junkie.

Ngannou, meanwhile, is slated to vie for UFC’s Heavyweight title when he faces off against division champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 on Jan. 20, 2018. As for Lewis, he is confident two impressive wins could get him back in the title hunt.

“You know, the opportunity is there,” he said. “The Heavyweight division is wide open. A lot of guys have been getting popped for steroids and stuff like that, and it’s moved me in a position with a pretty good spot to a title shot pretty soon. I believe two good wins against decent opponents ... and a title shot is right around the corner.”

This returning beast, however, could have a thing or three to say about that.

Nevertheless, after taking time off to recuperate and get his mind right, up next for Lewis is a 265-pound showdown against Marcin Tybura, which is expected to go down at UFC Fight Night 126 on Feb. 10, 2018, in Austin, Texas.

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