The legendary boxing trainer recently praised and critiqued the ranked UFC fighter on his podcast. Atlas spoke about Lewis after watching him dispose of heavyweight contender Chris Daukaus at last weekend’s UFC “Fight Night” card. The first-round finish put Lewis back into the win column after losing an interim title fight to Ciryl Gane in August.
Atlas liked what he saw from Lewis but also mentioned one thing he thinks can elevate his striking even more: a solid jab.
“One thing I would start with him [is] just give him a good reliable jab,” said Atlas on a recent episode of his podcast The Fight. “Just give him that phone-pole jab that George Foreman had that destroyed the late, great Joe Frazier […] Lewis can have something like that. That alone could improve him significantly.”
Outside of the cage, Atlas was complimentary of the way Lewis presents himself. He mentioned his gift of gab has already amassed him a following and could carry him up to an even more popular spot someday.
“Lewis is a smart guy. Forget about his power, that guy has a great personality. He can be a superstar […] He’s got a following already, it can get bigger,” said Atlas.
Lewis is known for being a funny and laidback fighter. Along with his meme-heavy personality online, “The Black Beast” is witty on the mic during interviews. His most viral moment came after a fight against Alexander Volkov. After a brutal knockout win, Lewis took off the outer layer of his fighting shorts, stating, “My balls were hot.”
Do you agree with Teddy Atlas? Would a jab change how Derrick Lewis fights for the better?