Derrick Lewis won his second straight bout this past Saturday night (Feb. 8, 2020) after defeating Ilir latifi at UFC 247 in Houston, Texas, via unanimous decision (recap). But, “Black Beast” was — and still is — fighting a bigger fight, revealing on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show he is currently dealing with a “life-or-death” medical issue.
“Yeah, I will be available (to be back up for Ngannou vs. Rozenstruick),” the bruising Heavyweight said. “But my coach wants me to get something checked out that came up in my medicals that has been hindering my training. We’re supposed to be keeping it on the down low, but I got to get it checked out.
“The UFC doctors know what it is and the doctors here in Houston know what it is,” he continued. “It’s just something that’s been going on that I got to get addressed. It’s a life-or-death situation serious.”
Known for being a joker, Lewis assured Helwani that he was indeed “dead serious,” and he plans to find out just how his issue is going to affect him moving forward. And while he wouldn’t spill the beans as to what exactly is going on with him, he did give a bit of insight.
“It’s something that happens to a lot of athletes, it don’t matter if you’re healthy or not. It’s something that can still happen to you at the drop of a hat,” he added. “It could affect my life.”
According to the 265-pound wrecking machine, his doctor advised him not to fight at UFC 247, but eventually went on to get a second opinion and approval from UFC’s medical staff.
“My doctor told me he thinks I shouldn’t have taken this last fight. He said in a situation like this he don’t think I should fight. So I got a second opinion from the UFC doctors and they read everything and checked everything out. So they said it shouldn’t be a problem.”
To shed a bit more light on the situation, Lewis said his issue affected him in the opening round of his fight against Latifi.
“Yeah, I was worried, and then in the first round it happened, so I was like, ‘Okay.’ But I decided not to think about it.”
Before you start criticizing UFC doctor’s for keeping Lewis on the card despite his health problem, they are the same group who yanked Antonio Arroyo from the event because of bad cramping. So it’s safe to say that had the medical staff felt Lewis would be in any danger, he’d be taken off the card. Then again, his first doctor’s diagnosis may have some fans scratching their heads regarding the conflicting opinions.
Nevertheless, the exact issue will remain between Lewis and his doctors, though he says the way things are nowadays details are bound to leak sooner rather than later.
For complete UFC 247 results and coverage click here.