Derrick Lewis is looking for fights that will get him closer to a title shot, and he thinks Mark Hunt will do more for him than Francis Ngannou.
After his big win over Travis Browne, Derrick Lewis had some controversial things to say. The buzz about that died down a couple of days though, as it usually does, and now it’s onto what’s next for The Black Beast. Win five wins in a row and a ranking inside the top ten at heavyweight, there are many opportunities for him. And as a guest on The MMA Hour, he was asked about one of those possibilities – a fight against a fellow rising star Francis Ngannou.
It’s safe to say that Lewis is down with that (transcribed by MMA Mania):
“Yeah I will fight him, He’s real good. This is America, you know they like to see black on black crime, they thrive on that, they love that. I’ll give it to them, yeah.”
But that’s not the fight he’s really interested in next. He’s actually looking in the direction of a certain Super Samoan to get ahead faster in the division:
“Me and him (Francis) are fight close to each other (in the rankings) so I would like to fight someone that’s more of a challenge. I believe Mark Hunt is more of a challenge,” added Lewis. “Me beating Francis is not really going to boost my stats or get me closer to the belt. He hasn’t fought the tops guys yet, just one guy, but he is running through guys.”
While he’s right about Hunt facing more top-tier talent and having a bigger name, Ngannou is actually ahead of him in the rankings. Lewis just passed Hunt for the seven spot, while Ngannou sits at six. So would it really be more beneficial to fight Hunt next? Who knows. Plus there’s the fact that Hunt is booked against Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 this weekend, and the outcome of that fight will cause a ripple in the rankings as well.