As a resident of Houston, Tex., Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Derrick Lewis has done everything in his power to help out the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Lewis has estimated to rescue over 100 people, including children in need, from the massive floods produced by the destructive storm.
While “Black Beast” understands the magnitude of his efforts, he was recently forced to bite his tongue during one of his many rescues. It was something that few people in his position would have the thick skin to do.
“I picked up one guy and his family, his wife – he just kept apologizing to me, because all he really had was his clothes, and he wanted to take his Confederate flag,” Lewis told MMAjunkie. “He wanted to take that with him, and he just apologized and said, ‘Man, I’ll sit in the back of your truck, man. I don’t want to have my flag inside of your truck like this.’ I said, ‘Man, I’m not worried about that.’
“He’s saying, ‘You never know if you ever need someone, so …’ – I already knew where he was going with it. I just said, ‘Don’t even worry about it. It’s OK. I don’t care about that.’ His wife kept hitting him and saying, ‘You should have just left it.'”
The symbolic piece of cloth has recently caused socially-crippling situations around the country, yet Lewis took it on the chin and remained focused on his rescue efforts.
“I don’t care about that,” Lewis said. “I live in Texas. It ain’t nothing new. I’ve been living in the South all my life, and it ain’t nothing I hadn’t seen before or discussed about. I don’t care about that type of stuff. I just wanted to help him.”
On top of his heroic actions over the past week, Lewis has partnered up with UFC to donate $10,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief. The 32-year-old heavyweight contender recently posted the following message to Twitter:
While most people would understandably worry about their own family and friends during a scary occurrence like Hurricane Harvey, Lewis has gone above and beyond to help out complete strangers (even ones who fly the Confederate flag). His efforts to assist the people of Houston is not going unnoticed and will only raise awareness of the destruction left behind in Texas.
Lewis is currently scheduled to fight former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum at UFC 216 on Oct. 7 from Las Vegas, Nevada.