UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis is set to face off against former title challenger Francis Ngannou on the highly anticipated fight card of UFC 226 on July 7. That being said, there is something other than his upcoming fight against an intense knockout artist that is making “The Black Beast” nervous.
Derrick Lewis entered a heavy trash-talking campaign against Travis Browne ahead of their match up, mainly focusing his rhetoric on Browne’s wife and UFC superstar Ronda Rousey. After it was revealed that Ronda Rousey has earned a spot within the UFC Hall of Fame, Derrick Lewis quickly became nervous that the former women’s bantamweight champion will make an appearance at UFC 226.
Speaking to FloCombat, Lewis has offered his thoughts on the matter.
“He introduced himself to me [before the fight] saying that I was his next opponent, and ever since then, I’ve been watching him. I did [think that was disrespectful] and then after the fight, he called out everybody else but me. It seems like he was avoiding me, but I guess he had bigger fish to fry.”
“Let’s just say I’ve been training a lot more than I have been. My past fights, I probably only trained 30 minutes a day. Now I’m training at least two or three hours a day. I’m training more serious. I’m doing everything that I needed to be doing that a mixed martial artist is supposed to be doing. Like trying to eat right ’cause at first, I wasn’t eating right at all. I’m trying to eat right. I’m still slipping up here and there.”
“Just working on everything, not just my stand up. I’m working on everything, my wrestling, jiu-jitsu, conditioning, everything. I’m taking it more serious.”
“Right now I’m walking around at 280 [pounds]. My goal was to be in the 50’s for this fight. All these specials going on, it’s hard to pass up.”
“If I knock him out, it’s a title shot. If I win by decision, then I should fight Curtis Blaydes.”
When asked about Ronda Rousey’s Hall of Fame induction, Lewis added:
“I already sent her flowers. You’re trying to distract me. I’ve got to fight extra hard, she might go to the fight. She might be watching. Now I’m nervous.”