Derrick Lewis returns to the octagon on Saturday night against Serghei Spivac, and “The Black Beast” is hoping to get back on the winning track after back-to-back KO losses. The heavyweight is undefeated when fighting in the UFC APEX, but bringing up that stat only seemed to stress Lewis out.
“I don’t want to think about it,” he said at the UFC Vegas 65 media day. “This year has not been my year, so it be good if I can keep the [APEX win] streak going. This year hasn’t been my year, and I want to end the year off with a bang, and it’d be great to do it here in Vegas.”
When asked why it wasn’t his year, Lewis gave a pretty honest answer.
“I don’t know. I train hard as I could,” he said. “This year I trained probably the most I’ve ever trained for both my last fight, and it didn’t go my way. I did everything the right way and it still didn’t go my way. I don’t know. I trained even harder for this fight, so we’ll see how things go on Saturday. I believe that I can get the job done even in the later rounds. I’m looking forward to the fourth or fifth round. And I’m looking forward to a main event fight, this fight.”
“I kind of hope it lasts five seconds,” he joked. “But if it goes five rounds, I’m fine. I’m ready and excited. My coaches got me ready. I’m motivated even though there’s not too much for me to be motivated for at this point in my career. But I am motivated and I’m ready to get in there. I still feel like I got a lot left in the tank. We’ll see how things go on Saturday.”
Lewis is fighting Serghei Spivac, who may be unranked but has amassed a 6-3 record with two straight knockout wins to his name. It’s a step down from facing Ciryl Gane for the interim heavyweight title, but Lewis doesn’t mind.
“When I heard that it was him I said ‘Okay, that’s fine.’ It didn’t matter,” he said. “I don’t care who they give me. I just wanted to fight anyone. It didn’t matter. Especially after my last fight, it didn’t matter who it would’ve been, how quick it would’ve been. I would’ve preferred it would’ve been quicker than this week, but I didn’t care. I think he’s a good opponent. From what I’ve been seeing on the highlights, he likes to wrestle a lot, and I like that. Because I like to wrestle too. But I never really showed that in my fights. We’ll see how it goes Saturday.”
“My back is against the wall now,” he admitted. “I don’t want to lose three straight fights in a row. I don’t really even want to lose one fight. So I take it hard on myself every time I lose a fight. I don’t stop thinking about my last fight until I get a new fight. And so I’m just tired of thinking about my last fight, it being some B.S., the way it ended. So I just wanted to come out this week. Give it all I’ve got. I’m almost at the end of my career now. I don’t want there to be any woulda, coulda, shoulda. I want to have everything all set and done.”
Lewis, 38, has been fighting for UFC since 2014. Add in some on-and-off back issues and we should appreciate every “Black Beast” fight we get. Also gone too soon: Derrick Lewis’ Instagram account, which was a lot of fun if you ignore the sprinkle of NSFL content. That led to a ban which doesn’t sound like it’s ending any time soon.
“People been reporting every video I post,” Lewis said. “I keep telling ‘He’s okay, she’s okay,’ and they still report it making it seem like they’re dead and stuff. The man is okay!”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 65 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 4 p.m. ET.
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