Derrick Lewis’ gift of gab and unique sense of humour has allowed him to stay relevant at a time where fighters seem to rely mainly on trash talk to sell themselves.
Staying relevant in the ever-unstable world of MMA is an art not many can claim to have. No matter how good your resume is or how consistent your performances, the audience, just like the sport, can change in a matter of seconds. Most fighters never really decode this change and are hence caught in a loop of facing contender after contender before finally receiving a title shot. Over time, some fighters have managed to decode the seemingly fickle behavior of fans and have devised anchors or sorts which keeps them stable in the storm of events in the sport.
The most common method is using trash talk in the build-up to fights. From Chael Sonnen to Ronda Rousey, many have used insults and have openly downplayed their opponents to create an identity of their own. In recent past, Conor McGregor has managed to create his own upgraded version of trash talk which goes beyond the regular realm of downplaying opponents to not-so-politically-correct statements. More recently, this trick is what Colby Covington tried to replicate. Taking an alternate path, others like Elias Theodorou used social media and constant commentary on events happening in the sport to remain visible.
Which brings us to Derrick Lewis. Lewis uses his post-fight interviews to maintain relevance beyond fight and performances. Now, this shtick is not entirely unlike the usual tools, but at the same time, it stands unique because of Lewis’s style and personality. Lewis’s lines capture both humour and the rawness of the sport, something that fans have not seen in a rather long time. Where something like trash-talks captures the same emotions, it is primarily targeted at an individual, which very easily becomes stale. Lewis’s lines are original and funny. Starting from becoming a popular viral meme with his line “my balls was hot” to calling out Ronda Rousey after his fight against Travis Browne, Lewis created laugh riots way after his fights.
The very same thing happened this weekend after his fight against Blagoy Ivanov. Lewis brought his humour to arguably the biggest stage in combat sports and whipped up quotes that went viral on social media
Derrick Lewis to Joe Rogan: “Shout out to the boy Donald Trump. I know everything ain’t going so good in the White House, you gotta turn that shit around in 2020.”
On Blagoy Ivanov: “”I know he likes it raw in that ass.” #UFC244
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) November 3, 2019
Now back in the win column, it should be fun to see where does this interesting ability takes “the Black Beast” — as it’s arguably factored into one title shot already.