Derrick Lewis shocked the MMA world when he suddenly decided to retire from the sport following a disappointing fourth round loss to Mark Hunt in New Zealand. But there's just something about retirement in MMA - it just doesn't seem to stick. During an appearance on today's MMA Hour, Lewis admitted the decision was a 'heat of the moment' thing and he would be back ... once he figured out what to do about a back problem that has been plaguing him since 2011.
“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," Derrick said regarding his injury. "Hopefully I can get back in there before the end of the year.”
His back was a massive issue coming into the Hunt fight, but Lewis pushed through it and made it into the cage to face Hunt. The decision not to pull out of the fight was probably a mistake in hindsight.
“Like two days before, my back was just real sore,” Lewis said. “It was real sore and 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."
That's probably the worst time you ever want a back injury to flare up. I don't know whether or not to be impressed or concerned that Lewis was willing to get into the cage with that kind of injury. The last thing in the world you want to be is a paralyzed target for the ham sized fists of Mark Hunt (or any other UFC heavyweight, for that matter).
But with the injury finally costing him a win and causing him some soul searching, we'll hope he takes the time off he admits he needs for both his health and his family’s sanity before returning to the cage.