Derrick Lewis came up short in his fight for the interim heavyweight belt in his loss to Ciryl Gane via 3rd-round TKO, partly because of the magnitude of the moment.
In 2018, Derrick Lewis faced an enormous amount of pressure as he was preparing to challenge for the heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier at UFC 230. In that bout, Lewis got submitted in the second round and lost his chance at becoming champion.
His last fight against Gane was different, as he was getting ready to fight in his hometown of Houston in front of thousands of Lewis fans. This put a lot of overwhelming pressure on the Black Beast.
“Man, it was just overwhelming fighting in my hometown, all that pressure I had on me,” Lewis told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s media day at the UFC Apex. “I put all that pressure on myself, you know? It would have been 13 years since the day I got out of prison, and winning the title for the UFC heavyweight champion, it would have just – I put so much pressure on myself. It was just very nerve-racking.”
Despite feeling the nerves and unlike himself leading up to the fight, Lewis welcomes the idea of fighting in his hometown again in the future.
“I would like to keep fighting in Houston,” Lewis said. “I love fighting in Houston. It was just that day. I just put so much pressure on myself, you know, so it is what it is.”
Lewis has fought in his hometown two other times in his UFC career: UFC 247 against Ilir Latifi and UFC 192 against Viktor Pesta. Lewis was victorious in both fights.
Ahead of his fight this weekend against Chris Daukaus, Lewis has the experience advantage between the two fighters. Lewis has fought a total of 34 times professionally to Daukaus’ 15 pro fights. Lewis has been fighting with the UFC for over seven years dating back to 2014, while Daukaus made his debut in the promotion just 16 months ago.
“Experience don’t mean anything,” Lewis said. “Most fighters go into a fight really just focused on one thing: just winning. So all the outside and noise really doesn’t matter. We’re heavyweights, so anything can happen. Anything, any slip-up or anything can happen.”
Who do you think will win between Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus at UFC Vegas 45?