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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Derrick Lewis after TKO loss at UFC 265?

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone with UFC 265 blowing the roof off Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, this past weekend (Sat., Aug. 7, 2021). Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Pedro Munhoz, who was out-classed by Jose Aldo in a thrilling Bantamweight affair (recap here).

And Michael Chiesa, who was choked into submission by Vicente Luque in the first round, ending his four-fight win streak. But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Derrick Lewis.

After “Black Beast” came up short in his first bid to win the UFC Heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier at UFC 230 three years ago, he worked his way back up the ladder by going 4-1 to earn another shot at winning gold, albeit with an interim tag attached.

But once fight night came, the "Black Beast” who fight fans have grown to love inside the cage was nowhere to be seen. While he did try to pop off some offense, Ciryl Gane was simply too technical to expose himself to one of the Texan’s fight-ending bombs.

In the end, the heavy-hitting Frenchman found his groove and fought his fight, especially with well-placed low kicks, slowing down Lewis long enough to time his shots and eventually score a third-round technical knockout win.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for Lewis, a fan-favorite who admittedly has never been too preoccupied with becoming UFC champion. While all he's ever wanted to do was hit people and collect paychecks -- and he’s made a fine career for himself doing just that, even getting a win over current 265-pound champion, Francis Ngannou -- losing in your hometown is never fun.

Lewis can continue his career as one of the hardest-hitting big men in the sport who can still knockout the best of them at any given moment. And because of that, he will always hover around the Top 5. But, it seems having one-punch knockout power simply isn’t enough to break through and take out the technical big men who have more than one weapon in their tool kits.

There are still several Heavyweight contenders Lewis has yet to face inside the Octagon. Among them is former champion Stipe Miocic, the man I believe is a perfect fit for his next fight. Miocic is, of course, coming off a knockout loss to Ngannou, but he is still the No. 1-ranked big man in the land, while Lewis is right behind him at No. 2.

Dana White has gone on record to say that Miocic has accepted a fight against Jon Jones, but “Bones” doesn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to take that fight since he has his eyes on an immediate title shot, which he can get if he wants.

Miocic can take this fight if offered or risk sitting on the sidelines even longer while Ngannou vs. Gane plays out, then see if Jones decides to face the winner. The smart play would be to face Lewis, perhaps in the co-main of the Ngannou vs. Gane event.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 265: “Lewis vs. Gane” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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