Houston, TX – Many fighters say they don’t care who they fight in the octagon, but it seems more genuine coming from someone like UFC heavyweight and former title challenger Derrick Lewis.
“I don’t care. I don’t care who’s my next opponent. I prefer to fight someone new,” Lewis said at UFC 271 media day.
Lewis (28-6) has the distinction of having fought both the current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and the former interim champion Cyril Gane. Ngannou defeated Gane to retain the title at UFC 270 in January.
“I didn’t watch the fight. I’ll be damned if I paid Francis any money out of my pocket for his PPVs. I tried to stream it, but they kept getting shut down. No, I didn’t watch.”
Lewis takes on Tai Tuivasa in the co-main event slot of UFC 271. Earlier in the day Tuivasa told the media that, should he defeat Lewis, The Black Beast should offer him his cup so he could do a “cuppie” with him.
“No,” Lewis laughed. “That guy is nasty man, I can’t do that. I don’t know. USADA need to be knocking on his door all the time. He’s got to be taking something to help his immune system. That is just nasty.”
UFC 271 marks a return to Houston for the heavyweight following a loss to Gane at UFC 265. Lewis mentioned not wanting to fight in Houston anymore.
“Reason why the pressure was so tough that fight right there because that was the same day, the exact date, that I got out of prison. The same exact date. So it’s like I put a lot of pressure on myself and it just like a crazy thing that I wanted for my legacy or whatever. Being all the way at the bottom of my life then being the champion of the world, that just meant a lot at that time.”
Watch the full UFC 271 media day press scrum with Derrick Lewis above.