Francis Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis at UFC 226 was a terrible fight. Don’t just take my word for it. Pretty much everyone agrees, including Derrick Lewis. The typically jovial heavyweight spent the majority of the event’s post-fight press conference looking and sounding utterly dejected at how the fight turned out.
”It was a terrible performance,” Lewis said. “I know I say that a lot, but it was a real bad performance. I know for sure I don’t deserve a title shot. I believe it hurt me more than it helped me. Even though I got the win, I believe it probably set me about two fights back.”
As for what happened, Lewis focused on his inability to fight outside his typical brawling style ... a style he was sure Ngannou was prepared for.
”We knew he really wanted to counter me coming in with my right hand, because I’m real vulnerable when I come in with my right hand,” he said. “I lean over whenever I throw it and I know he wanted to catch me coming in and hit me with an uppercut, left hook ... The gameplan was to take his ass down, and I already told my coach I dunno how to take down, I dunno how to do takedowns.”
”My ass needs to sit down somewhere and learn some more technique or something. I don’t deserve to call anyone out with a performance like that. I don’t care if he’s the number one contender, I believe I shouldn’t be fighting no one really, after a performance like that.”
There was also the issue of his back, which started to seize up during the fight. The last time that happened was in New Zealand against Mark Hunt, and Hunt KO’d Lewis in the fourth round after Lewis found himself unable to move. His back issues would strike again on fight week leading up to UFC 216, taking him out of a fight with Fabricio Werdum.
”For sure my back was killing me,” Lewis said. “All I wanted to do was sit down and stay on that bench.”
”My wife, she really wants me to take care of my back before I even accept any type of fight, but it’s just the dog in me that always wants to fight, no matter what. But yeah, I know I need to take it more serious, and the doctors are telling me I need to lose at least 25 pounds and I need to stretch a lot more than I have been to try and help my back out.”
Fortunately for Lewis, his boss Dana White was pretty forgiving of his performance and pinned the majority of the blame on ‘egomaniac’ Francis Ngannou.
”I don’t agree that his stock dropped,” White said. “He’s a fun guy. He’s funny. When he gets in there and throws, his fights are exciting. But he always has problems with his back. And that’s going to be a problem for him in there, you don’t wanna go in there with a bad back against Cormier, or any of these other heavyweights. But I like him and I don’t think that his stock drops at all. He won this fight, and tell me the last time he was in a boring fight?”