Derrick Lewis is one of the hottest attractions in MMA, no pun intended, following his UFC 229 come-from-behind KO victory over Alexander Volkov and the nationally acclaimed post-fight speech that followed. Who knew that less than one month later, that same man would find himself in a position to be one of the faces of the company with an opportunity to represent the UFC as the world heavyweight champion? In two days, Derrick Lewis will have an opportunity to do exactly that when he challenges Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight title at UFC 230 live from Madison Square Garden. And if successful, Lewis believes it will be a disgrace to the UFC and to the entire sport of mixed martial arts.
“If I’m the champion, the whole UFC (heavyweight) division should be ashamed of themselves,” Lewis said at UFC 230 media day. “A guy that had no damn skills, what the hell is he doing being champion? They should all just relocate some-damn-where.”
Despite a lack of a formal MMA discipline, Derrick Lewis has found himself the #2 ranked heavyweight in the UFC, which is already a major accomplishment. But for the “Black Beast” to actually become the world champion is another matter altogether and would tarnish the credibility of the sport, says Lewis:
“It would be disrespectful to the sport. Because I had no mixed martial arts background at all. A guy that’s heavyweight champion of the whole UFC, where all these great legends before me had some type of mixed martial arts history or background and being a champion…it would just be crazy.”
Of course it is craziness that always seem to surround Lewis’s performances, both in the cage and on the mic that has made him an overnight sensation to the wider MMA audience. But Derrick Lewis insists that establishing a legacy in this sport is meaningless to him:
“I’m not in this sport to try to be the best fighter in the world, either…at all,” Lewis stated. “I don’t give a damn about being the best fighter in the world. I’m not trying to be the best fighter. And that would be great if people forget about me next week. I don’t care if I’m ever remembered in this sport…for anything.”
What would you make of Derrick Lewis as the UFC Heavyweight Champion?