Heavyweight title challenger Derrick Lewis was surprised by Daniel Cormier’s approach during their fight at UFC 230. At the event’s post-fight conference, the ‘Black Beast’ told the press that he was overwhelmed by his opponent’s chain-wrestling, which ultimately cost him the fight on Saturday night.
In fact, Lewis claims he felt good in the first round of the fight, but could not stop Daniel in the second round. Eventually leading to a rear-naked choke submission loss (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“He did what we thought he was going to do. He wrestled, point blank,” Lewis explained to the assembled media. “I was feeling good in the second round, throwing, had good movement going, and sh-t he just went for the takedown.”
“He did pretty good on that,” Lewis added, when asked specifically about the ankle pick. “I didn’t expect him to do that. I guess that’s part of the chain wrestling or something like that, they call it, so he did pretty good on that, caught me off guard.”
Although Derrick had less than a month to prepare for the biggest fight of his career, after defeating Alexander Volkov at October 6, the 33-year-old guarantees that was not the reason why he lost the match.
“Not at all, I was still in good shape,” Lewis said. “I’ve been wrestling and working on wrestling defense my whole career, so it was nothing new. Hopefully I don’t have to fight no more this year. [I want to] get some time off, they can hit me up before the summer next year.”
Derrick Lewis was on a three-fight winning streak before losing to Daniel Cormier. During that time, he gathered wins over Alexander Volkov, Francis Ngannou and Marcin Tybura. Following the win over Lewis, Daniel Cormier is expected to face Brock Lesnar sometime early in 2019.