Longtime UFC heavyweight wrecking ball, Derrick Lewis, knows that his technical knockout loss to newly-crowned interim champion Ciryl Gane at UFC 265 all but eliminated “The Black Beast” from the 265-pound title chase, even with a favorable position of No. 3 in the promotion’s “official” rankings.
“Man, it was just overwhelming fighting in my hometown, all that pressure I had on me,” Lewis told MMA Junkie at the UFC Vegas 45 media day. “I put all that pressure on myself, you know? It would have been 13 years since the day I got out of prison, and winning the title for the UFC heavyweight champion, it would have just ... I put so much pressure on myself. It was just very nerve-racking.”
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Lewis (25-8, 1 NC) can get right back into the title picture — and perhaps score another crack at the 265-pound crown — with back-to-back victories, starting with Chris Daukaus in the UFC Vegas 45 headliner this weekend in Las Vegas and finishing with ex-champion Stipe Miocic in early-to-mid 2022.
“I would like to fight for the title at the end of next year,” Lewis continued. “That would be great. You know, get through Daukaus, God willing, I come out with the win, I would like to fight Stipe next. Nothing against Stipe or nothing like that. I don’t feel like I have nothing to prove. It’s just a guy that I’ve never fought. I know he’s like one of the best of all time. You know, I ain’t shit, so I just want to just fight him just because. That’s all. No disrespect or anything like that.”
Prior to his loss to Gane, the power-punching Lewis was the winner of four straight, which includes technical knockout victories over Alexey Oleynik and Curtis Blaydes. Miocic, meanwhile, has not competed since losing his strap to Francis Ngannou in the UFC 260 main event last March in Las Vegas.
To see the rest of the UFC Vegas 45 fight card and lineup click here.