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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Derrick Lewis after submission loss to Daniel Cormier at UFC 230?

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC 230 blew the roof off Madison Square Garden this past Saturday night (Nov. 3, 2018) in New York, N.Y.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Chris Weidman, who suffered a knockout loss to Ronaldo Souza in the third and final round, his fourth defeat in his last five outings (see it again here). And David Branch, who was knocked out by Jared Cannonier at middleweight (relive it).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Derrick Lewis.

It was an unexpected opportunity when Lewis (or his agent) got the call, informing him of the chance to fight for the Heavyweight title just a few days after knocking Alexander Volkov’s block off in a Hail Mary win. And despite his non-stop reminders that he wasn’t interested in (or ready for) a shot at the title, you knew “Black Beast” simply wouldn’t say no.

Especially since they were paying him stripper-like money.

All cash aside, Lewis wasn’t about to let the opportunity slip by. After all, he was pretty much the most-deserving big man out there (though Curtis Blaydes could make a case) given his ranking. Plus, when you pack the power that he does in both fists, any fight is a winnable one if a shot lands clean.

But as Daniel Cormier often declares, there are levels to the mixed martial arts (MMA) game, and “DC” showed why he’s leaps and bounds above just about everyone else. As expected, Cormier — the former Olympic wrestler -- had his way with Lewis in the grappling department, taking the big man down at will, though “Black Beast” did manage to get back up a few times.

But, it’s Daniel’s fighting mind and all-around skill-set that won him the fight, as he didn’t allow Lewis to uncork his one-hitter quitter, keeping him close, and defending well. Once on the ground, “DC” made it look easy, slapping on the hooks and sinking in an air-restricting rear-naked choke to force the tap.

And just like that, Cormier made history by becoming the only UFC fighter to defend titles in two separate divisions. He also remained undefeated at 265 pounds. Cormier will now either go on to a trilogy fight against Jon Jones or a big-money showdown against Brock Lesnar.

As for Lewis, his future is still very bright.

At 33 years of age, Derrick seemingly has plenty of fight left in him, assuming his back problems are kept at bay. He’s as entertaining as anyone in the cage, and once he gets on the mic, forget about it. That said, the competition at 265 pounds is still pretty tough.

And it’s about to get a whole lot tougher.

As for who he should fight next, a showdown against Alistair Overeem sounds about right. “Reem” is coming off two losses to Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes, who are set to square off in few weeks. Alistair needs a signature win to get back into the mix, and picking one up over “Black Beast” would do the trick.

For Derrick, facing off against Overeem is a chance to redeem himself, as it’s a fight that likely won’t include any takedown attempts (we hope). Plus, when you look at the field, there aren’t many names, if any, who make more sense.

For complete UFC 230 results and coverage click here.

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