Derrick Lewis says he was offered a short-notice bout with Stipe Miocic.
Lewis is scheduled to take on former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight title holder Junior dos Santos on March 9. The heavyweight clash is set to headline UFC on ESPN+ 4. The action will take place inside the INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.
Derrick Lewis Explains Turning Down Stipe Miocic Fight
Lewis appeared on ESPN’s Ariel Helwani MMA Show and made quite the reveal. He claimed that UFC officials wanted him to fight Miocic on short notice at this weekend’s UFC Brooklyn event. “The Black Beast” explained why the timing was off (via BJPenn.com):
“They wanted me to fight Stipe on short-notice. I wanted some time off. I would still fight Stipe, but not right now. Not so soon. Especially fighting a guy like DC, who’s more of a wrestler, then going in to fight Stipe… You know I wanted some time off.”
Lewis earned a comeback knockout victory over Alexander Volkov back in Oct. 2018. “The Black Beast” was peppered with kicks throughout the fight before closing the show with just seconds left in the bout. The following month, he challenged Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight gold but was submitted in the second round. Avoiding another quick turnaround may have been the right decision for Lewis as Miocic is one of the best heavyweights in mixed martial arts history and has had six months to rest.
Do you think Derrick Lewis made the right decision to avoid a short-notice fight with Stipe Miocic?