Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is giving Derrick Lewis a chance to erase the memory of his last performance — a three-round snoozer against the atrophied Francis Ngannou at UFC 226 — by taking on fellow top contender Alexander Volkov at the upcoming UFC 229 pay-per-view (PPV) event, scheduled for Sat., Oct. 6, 2018 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Black Beast” is 8-1 over the last three years with six knockouts and could find himself neck-and-neck with Curtis Blaydes in the heavyweight title chase. But it’s no secret that his chronic back issues have continued to jeopardize his march to the throne, which is why desperate times call for desperate measures.
“Right now it’s going pretty good,” Lewis told The MMA Hour when asked about his back. “The shots that I took, they said it should last like 10 to 12 months. It wasn’t stem cells or nothing like that. It was something — they shot me like 20 times in one spot, it was some type of steroids.”
USADA has reportedly approved the procedure.
Lewis was forced to withdraw from his Fabricio Werdum fight at UFC 216 last fall and has often flirted with retirement, simply because “Black Beast” didn’t believe he could continue fighting in the condition he was in.
“We’re taking it step-by-step, day-by-day. We’re taking it real slow, because ain’t no way I’m going to pull out of this fight again,” Lewis said. “I’ve pulled out in the past and I ain’t planning on doing it for this fight here.”
UFC 229 is expected to feature the return of former lightweight champion and PPV money machine Conor McGregor, who collides with reigning 155-pound kingpin Khabib Nurmagomedov in the five-round main event.
That means Lewis can enjoy some of that “Notorious” shine when the final numbers are tallied. It’s also risking the chance of losing in front of the biggest audience in history, but I guess that beats those taxis that smell like booty and Hennessy.