UFC 230: Derrick Lewis Proclaims He’s Not a “Mixed-Martial-Artist” Ahead of Title Shot

Derrick Lewis

Derrick Lewis is about to fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight title, but according to the heavy handed slugger, he is not a mixed-martial-artist.

Recently the UFC sent a bit of a shockwave through the sport, when the promotion announced Lewis is going to fight heavyweight champ, Daniel Cormier, November 3rd. The booking came after Lewis took out Alexander Volkov at UFC 229, in what was one of the more memorable, comeback wins in recent history.

Well, the news surprised many, since the consensus was that Cormier wouldn’t fight, before facing Brock Lesnar in the new year. But, the promotion needed a big main event for UFC 230, and here we are.

Recently the charismatic Lewis was on the Rich Eisen Show. While discussing what he expects the champ to bring November 3rd, and critics who have questioned the booking, Lewis said the following (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“I think Cormier is gonna come out and try to wrestle me, try to get me tired, and try to push the pace,” Lewis said. “I know he might not say that I’m on his level but I think I am and he thinking that I’m not, really. He’s thinking that it’s gonna be an easy fight for him, thinking that I don’t train hard like he does. Just because he’s an Olympic wrestler he’s thinking that it’s gonna be an easy fight for him.”

“Of course they would say that [I don’t deserve it], I guess just because my fighting style,” Lewis said. “Everyone else is a mixed martial artist. I’m not a mixed martial artist, I’m a brawler. Basically, I guess they just thinking I’ve been winning my fights just by luck. I just think I’ve been winning my fights on heart.”

Cormier has denied that he’s looking past Lewis, but there’s no doubt that the champ is viewed as a considerable favorite, heading into the contest. As Lewis noted, Cormier has a world class, wrestling pedigree, and chances are we will see that on display at UFC 230.

Is Lewis just a brawler? Many would argue no. Sure, Lewis isn’t known for throwing up flying armbars and dropping guard, but he has turned to takedowns and the clinch in fights, and has scored notable victories via ground-and-pound. Further, some would argue you can’t work your way into the #2, heavyweight ranking of the world’s biggest MMA promotion, by just being a “brawler”.

UFC 230 will be hosted by Madison Square Garden in New York City. In the co-main event, former middleweight champ Chris Weidman will take on “Jacare” Souza.

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