From being likely next in line for a title shot, to retiring, Derrick Lewis surprised MMA fans with his post-fight announcement.
Prior to headlining UFC Auckland, Derrick Lewis was on an impressive 6-fight run, which was the longest active winning streak in the heavyweight division. He shot up the rankings to #6, and was being talked about as a prime candidate for the next title shot.
He seemed to be groomed as the next contender, which is why tonight’s announcement took MMA fans by surprise. After Lewis had trouble dealing with a more technical striker in Mark Hunt, the 32-year-old announced that he will probably retire from competition.
“It’s my lower back, it’s not my leg. My leg is good,” Lewis said about his injuries after the bout that ended in the 4th round. “It’s just a long time injury, I hurt it back in 2011, and it’s just been hurting all week.
“That’s probably my last fight. I’m getting married next week, and I don’t like to put my family through all this. That’d be my last fight.”
UFC commentator Brian Stann prompted him further asking if “probably” meant there would be still be a chance to see the ranked heavyweight return. Lewis responded by saying he really is planning on hanging up the gloves.
“Most likely, that (is) my last fight in the UFC.”
It’s common for fighters get emotional after losses, and people rarely do stay retired in combat sports, but if this is indeed the last time we see “the Black Beast” in the Octagon, he will leave the sport with an 18-5 (1 NC) record.
Lewis joined the UFC just 3 years ago, but he has compiled a 9-3 record in that short time, with wins over the likes of Roy Nelson, Travis Browne, and Gabriel Gonzaga.
If it is, thank you @TheBeast_UFC #UFCAuckland pic.twitter.com/YnYWOfefUa
— UFC (@ufc) June 11, 2017