UFC heavyweight star Derrick Lewis is larger than life both in terms of his stature and character, and so it’s only fitting that his criminal past is also out of the ordinary too.
Two weeks after graduating from high school, the 19-year-old Lewis found himself in deep trouble when the irate ex-husband of an older woman he had been seeing came looking for him in his neighborhood.
According to Lewis, the man was a member of the KKK and had began following him in his truck as a he returned home from a night out in Houston, Texas.
Lewis eventually approached his vehicle, at which point the man reached for the shotgun that was lying on the seat next to him. In self-defense, Lewis started punching him until he sped off in the direction of the police station.
The man he’d hit would lose the sight in his left eye as a result of the altercation, and several days later Lewis was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault.
Still, Lewis was lucky to only be handed two years probation to begin with, enabling him to attend his athletic scholarship to play football at college.
However, Lewis violated his parole due to not having transportation to get to college and being unable to pay his fees, so he was sentenced to five years in jail at the infamous ‘Sugar Land’ facility – ultimately serve three-and-half years before being released.
Lewis emerged from jail with dreams of becoming a professional boxer, but a friend soon steered him towards MMA instead and that appears to have been a good choice as many years later he’s now risen to become one of the UFC’s top-10 ranked heavyweights.