Derrick Lewis is not looking forward to retirement.
Hard-hitting UFC heavyweight star was removed from his bout with former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum at UFC 216, which took place on Saturday, October 7th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This was supposed to be the biggest break of his career. However, instead of taking advantage of a great opportunity, he was met with major disappointment due to the fact that he was pulled from the fight last-minute due to a back injury.
If you recall, earlier this year, he suggested he was calling it quits. Following a TKO loss to Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 110 in June, he teased that he could be retiring due to more personal matters.
“I’m getting married next week,” Lewis said at the time. “I don’t like putting my family through all of this, so this could be my last fight. It’s most likely my last fight in the UFC.”
However, all of that has changed and he has his sights set on his next fight. He is now slated to fight Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 126, which airs on FS1 on Feb. 18 from Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
“It’s just because I needed some time off, man,” he told MMAjunkie on Tuesday while watching open tryouts for “The Ultimate Fighter 27” in Las Vegas. “I was fighting way too much. My mind wasn’t right. I was having trouble at home, like just arguing all the damn time for stupid (expletive). So I just needed some time off.
“I got the time off, and I believe I’m ready to go now. Yeah, for sure,” he said. “I believe all the time it’s 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. I say that all the time. It’s true.”
“It’s been pretty good,” said Lewis, who’s one of the UFC’s bigger jokesters. “My wife likes that. We’re trying different moves in the bedroom. …
“I went to the (Onnit Academy Gym) out there in Austin, and I believe they really fixed my back, so we’ll see. Training has been going good. I feel like I’m in shape right now, so we’ll see when Feb. 18 comes around. Right now, I’m feeling pretty good. My back is good. It’s been like six days and counting that I’ve had no back issues at all.”
“The past few months, they have been depressing a little bit – seeing other guys rise, and I’m still in the same position I’m in,” said Lewis, who had won six straight fights (five via knockout) before the Hunt defeat. “You know, the opportunity is there. The heavyweight division is wide open. A lot of guys have been getting popped for steroids and stuff like that, and it’s moved me in a position with a pretty good spot to a title shot pretty soon.
“I believe two good wins against decent opponents, and a title shot is right around the corner.”