To hear Derrick Lewis tell it, his back is against the wall this Saturday at UFC Vegas 65, where he looks to snap a two-fight skid against Sergey Spivak.
Then again, it’s often hard to know when to take Lewis seriously. Take, for example, his supposed reaction to a controversial loss against Sergei Pavlovich earlier this year.
“It’s some bullsh*t, that last one for sure, but I’ve been okay. Went down a mental journey, took some mushrooms. I had to come back, go on a crazy trip,” Lewis (26-10, 1NC) deadpanned during this week’s media day. “It’s been crazy, yeah.”
Derrick Lewis on a crazy mushroom trip? Tell us more. No details were forthcoming from Lewis on that front, however. “You’ve got to wait til my special comes out next year on Netflix.”
Welcome to why fight fans love Derrick Lewis. He hits hard, and can make you laugh. As heavyweights go, it’s the perfect combination.
Prior to his return in Las Vegas, it was pointed out that Lewis has never lost a fight at the UFC Apex, which will host this Saturday’s card. Lewis doesn’t want to jinx that, it seems, especially given similar success in his back yard of Houston, TX has fallen apart.
“I don’t want to think about it, because this year has not been my year. It’d be good if I could keep this streak going, but this year hasn’t been my year, and I want to end the year off with a bang,” said Lewis. “And it would be great to get a win here in Vegas.”
What went wrong in his past two fights is an interesting question. Many cite a quick stoppage in the Pavlovich fight, but the bottom line is that Lewis was stopped against both the Russian and Australia’s Tai Tuivasa.
“I don’t know. I trained as hard as a could,” Lewis replied when asked about a possible culprit for the setbacks. “This year I trained probably the most I’ve ever trained, for both fights, and it didn’t go my way. I did everything the right way, and it still didn’t go my way. I trained even harder for this fight, so we’ll see how things go Saturday. I believe that I can get the job done even in the later rounds. I’m looking forward to the fourth and the fifth round. I’m looking forward to a main event fight, this fight.”
There’s that untrustworthy nature of Lewis again. A sly smile could be seen on his face when he suggested he’d be looking forward to a lengthy battle against opponent Sergey Spivak. He fessed up moments later. “Sh*t, I kind of hope it lasts a few seconds. But if it goes five rounds, that’s fine.”
At age 38, however, Lewis knows his career is coming to a close, so perhaps he is taking things a little more seriously these days. “I feel like I’ve still got a lot left in the tank. We’ll see how things go Saturday,” he said at one point.
Later, he’d state that “my back is really against the wall now. I don’t want to lose three fights in a row. Really I don’t even want to lose one fight. I take it hard on myself every time I lose a fight. I don’t stop thinking about my last fight until I get a new fight. I’m just tired of thinking about my last fight, being some B.S. the way it ended.”
“And so I just want to come out here this week, give it all that I got. Almost at the end of my career, just don’t want to have no ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ when ever everything is all said and done.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 65 media day appearance by Derrick Lewis above. The event takes place this Saturday, November 19, 2022 at the Apex in Las Vegas, with prelims kicking off at 1PM ET.