Derrick Lewis has been tapped to fight Daniel Cormier next month at UFC 230, in a booking that raised eyebrows throughout the game, and the heavyweight believes the champ’s underestimating him. Does that bother the feared slugger? Evidently no.
Lewis was handed a title shot, following his come-from-behind, KO win over Alexander Volkov at UFC 229, October 6th. The booking came as a surprise for several reasons. One, since Cormier is expected to fight Brock Lesnar in early 2019, the consensus was that the champ-champ wouldn’t be fighting before then. Especially since Cormier had reported he’s dealing with an injured hand. Then of course, there’s the fact that UFC 230 is on November 3rd. So, it’s a quick, turn around fight for Lewis.
Well, since the fight was announced, Cormier’s conceded that his hand is not 100%, but he’s also said it’s good enough for him to fight. This, coupled with the fact “DC” has agreed to fight Lewis and potentially risk his showdown with Lesnar, has prompted discussion as to whether Cormier’s looking past the contender. While discussing this narrative recently, Lewis said this (quote via MMA Fighting):
“Not really the UFC, just DC believes that,” said Lewis. “He’s thinking it’s gonna be an easy fight for his self. But go ahead and think that. It’s just crazy that I even made it this far with the type of training I’ve been putting in before each and every fight. I’m serious. I don’t stay in the gym all day like all my opponents do. I stay for 30 minutes, 35 minutes — and five minutes on my phone posting memes and stuff. But this camp right here, I’ve been really at the gym all day long.”
“It’s just one that I can’t pass up, because I know there’s a lot of guys in this division that probably deserve a shot more than I’m getting,” Lewis said. “I probably don’t deserve a shot more than Stipe, who should have got the shot. But ain’t no telling the next time I’m gonna get the opportunity, so I gotta jump on it anyways.”
Now, on paper, a lot of people would likely argue that this could be an easy fight for Cormier, on account of his agility at heavyweight, his wrestling, and yes, his power. In other words, on paper, he has more ways to win than Lewis. It should also be noted that Cormier’s acknowledged that Lewis is ridiculously powerful, and therefore, extremely dangerous. Can Lewis pull off the upset here?
UFC 230 will go down at Madison Square Garden in New York City.