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Big John McCarthy has sobering news for Derrick Lewis fans: ‘He’s a gatekeeper’

UFC Fight Night: Lewis v Daukaus Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC heavyweight title contender Derrick Lewis blasted his way back into the win column by smashing and trashing Team Balance bruiser Chris Daukaus in the UFC Vegas 45 main event last Sat. night (Dec. 18, 2021) inside APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The victory improved Lewis to 26-8 (1 NC) and 5-1 across his last six fights, good enough for the No. 3 spot at 265 pounds. So it might be just a matter of time before the “Black Beast” secures his third crack at the division crown, up for grabs at UFC 270 in January.

Or maybe not.

“He is a gatekeeper,” McCarthy said on his “Weighing In” podcast (via MMA Junkie). “Because he’s been given two title shots. He had the one against (Daniel) Cormier, he lost that one. He had the interim one against Ciryl Gane, he lost that one. Look, he can fight. He’s tough. He’s got certain aspects of the fighting game that he is incredibly powerful at. His ground-and-pound is mean.”

Lewis, 36, is 0-2 in heavyweight title fights, getting finished by Daniel Cormier (UFC 230) and Ciryl Gane (UFC 265). At the same time, McCarthy may be overlooking other fighters who took an indirect path to the UFC title, like Michael Bisping and Charles Oliveira.

“He is super-strong, but technical guys are going to give him fits, so is he ever going to be that guy that’s going to be the champion? I don’t think so,” McCarthy continued. “I don’t think he’s got that. If you’re the UFC, you’re saying, ‘If you can beat Derrick Lewis, you’re in this upper tier of the guys that we’re going to think about putting in title fights. If you can’t, it’s saying something about you.’”

I guess we’ll find out the answer to both questions if this fight comes together.