Derrick Lewis has long proclaimed he doesn’t care all that much about world titles, as long as he gets paid well to knock heads inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon.
While he wouldn’t turn down a title fight, it’s never really been his priority. But after seeing Francis Ngannou bank $500,000 for his title fight against heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 220, “Black Beast” is gunning for a spot, as well as the pay it brings.
And after seeing “The Predator’s” lackluster performance in the biggest fight of his career, which saw him gas out after the first couple of rounds (see it), Lewis says it’s something he can do, too.
“Now that I’ve seen that – what’s his name, Francis (Ngannou)? – he got $500,000 just fighting for the belt,” Lewis said. “Let me fight for the belt next. They can give me $500,000. (Expletive), I’m going to gas out, too,” Lewis said on a recent interview with MMA Junkie Radio.
“Guaranteed $500,000? You don’t have to worry about me training before a camp. I’ll be drinking a beer right after weigh-ins.”
Derrick and Francis have had a mild rivalry throughout their respective mixed martial arts (MMA) careers, but nothing was ever made of it as the two men have yet to cross paths inside the eight-walled cage.
Lewis will next step foot inside the Octagon to face Marcin Tybura in the co-main event of this Sunday’s (Feb. 18, 2018) UFC Fight Night 126 event on FOX Sports 1 in Austin, Texas. And despite Marcin’s No. 9 ranking, Lewis (No. 7) won’t underestimate him, treating him as if he is the No. 1 contender.
“It’s the heavyweight division,” he said. “Anyone can win. It just takes one punch. So it doesn’t matter if he’s ranked No. 15 or the No. 1 guy. I take each and every fight like it’s going to be my toughest opponent.”
And who knows, should “Black Beast” pull out a victory in his home state, a fight against Ngannou may finally see the light of day.