Shortly after pulling off a Hail Mary knockout win over Alexander Volkov at UFC 229 on Oct. 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Derrick Lewis was pegged to face off against current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 230 on Nov. 3, 2018 in New York, N.Y.
This, despite the fact that “Black Beast” openly admitted he wasn’t ready for a shot at the division title during his now-infamous post-fight interview with Joe Rogan (see it again here). So what changed in a matter of only two days? Lewis explains it in the only was he knows how.
“Money talks. They threw money at me like I was a stripper, and I was fine with it,” joked Derrick during a an interview with UFC.com.
Even “DC” revealed that the offer UFC gave him to headline UFC’s return to Madison Square Garden was simply too good to pass up. Plus, facing off against a man who isn’t known for his cardio wouldn’t be too big a risk on short notice.
While Lewis will go in as the obvious underdog, he isn’t there to just collect a check, as he is confident he can knockout Cormier, even if it goes all five rounds.
“Oh yeah, of course. Without a doubt I believe I can beat this guy. Even if it’s the last 30 seconds of the fifth round, I believe that I can still knock him out. I know a lot of guys don’t believe in me, but I believe in myself,” Lewis said, while admitting once again he’s not the most technical fighter, but his heart can’t be matched.
“I know I’m not the most technical, and I don’t look at myself as a martial artist. I’m a brawler, so I don’t have the most experience like everyone else that I fight, but the one thing I do have is the most heart of anyone that I ever faced and that I will face.”
While Lewis maintains winning a belt isn’t the biggest thing in the world for him, saying the strap would simply go in his closet, becoming only the second man to defeat Cormier would definitely look good on his resume and be a great chapter in his underdog story.
A combat tale that almost ended a year ago.