UFC Vegas 68: Derrick Lewis Says He Doesn’t Want Veteran Ref Working His Fights

Heavyweight Derrick Lewis is back in action on Saturday at UFC Vegas 68, headlining the fight night card that has a particularly late start time — 1AM for fight fans on the east coast.

While Lewis is set to finally throw down with Sergei Spivac, a match-up originally set for last November until “The Black Beast” was forced to pull out the day of the fight, he knows who he doesn’t want in the cage with him. That would be referee Dan Miragliotta.

“The last two fights I’ve lost, he’s been the ref. And if he’s the ref on this fight, I’m gonna be like ‘nah, I don’t want him,'” Lewis (26-10, 1NC) told media members during Wednesday’s UFC Vegas 68 media day. “And if they still try to put him in the cage and he says ‘fighter, you ready? Fighter, you ready?’ I’m gonna say ‘no, we’re gonna need Herb Dean or somebody.'”

Lewis has lost back-to-back fights against Tai Tuivasa and Sergei Pavlovich, with the Pavlovich fight in particular standing out as potentially a quick stoppage. It’s clear Lewis wants the ref to give him more time to turn things around, should he come under fire again — although he bears no ill will towards “Big Dan” Miragliotta.

“No offense to him, he’s a great guy I’m sure, but I don’t want him reffing none of my fights.”

Despite his recent skid, Lewis believes he can still compete with the best in the division — and he did catch wind of Daniel Cormier’s comments this past week, where the former champ suggested Lewis was no longer top five material.

He’s also heard the suggestion that he wasn’t taking fighting seriously.

“I guess because they feel like my work ethic wasn’t there, they felt like I wasn’t taking myself serious, or the fight game serious or whatever,” Lewis said, asked to elaborate on that front. “I don’t blame them.”

“I guess I’ve got to go out there and prove to everyone that I can still do this, I can still be in the top five. I don’t give a damn what DC says, I seen that bullsh*t. But I guess you gotta say that when you’ve got high cholesterol. But I feel like I can still be in the top five.”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 68 media day appearance by Derrick Lewis above.