A massive heavyweight fight is going down this weekend in Halifax (Sun. February 19, 2017).
Derrick Lewis and Travis Browne will meet in the main event of UFC Halifax this Sunday night, with the winner likely getting a massive step up in competition next. Lewis is currently on a five-fight win streak while Browne has struggled with two straight losses.
Browne has taken a lot of heat for training under girlfriend Ronda Rousey’s longtime head-coach Edmond Tarverdyan, who has faced much criticism for his coaching of mixed martial artists lately.
During a recent interview with FOX Sports, Lewis said that Tarverdyan shouldn’t be to blame for Browne’s recent struggles, as ‘Hapa’ should already have the experience to prepare himself for a fight:
“I really haven’t been paying attention to him. I really just found out who Edmond [Tarverdyan] was until Ronda [Rousey] lost and everybody was blaming her coach on why she’s been losing,” Lewis said. “That’s when I heard who Edmond was and that maybe he was an [expletive].”
“I don’t think it has nothing to do with the coach,” Lewis said. “Seeing that you’re a veteran and it’s not like his third or fourth fight. You have 20 fights, you should know what it takes to get yourself ready. If you don’t feel like you’re ready, you let your coach know ‘hey we need to work on a little bit more of this’. The guy’s a veteran. He’s been fighting at the top level for four or five years now. He should know what it takes by now to get in fight-ready shape. You can’t really blame the coach.”
Lewis hopes to use Browne as a stepping stone to his ultimate goal of becoming UFC heavyweight champion, but he doesn’t want the strap to prove he’s the best in the world; but rather to increase the money he’s getting from the UFC:
“I just believe it will get me closer to the belt and the only reason I want the belt isn’t because I believe I’m the best fighter in the world. I’m not even trying to be the best fighter in the world,” Lewis said. “I just feel that all the top fighters in the world are making all the money.
“I believe I get the belt then I’ll get the money. I’m not trying to be the best fighter in the world. It’s all about the cheddar.”
When the two finally meet inside the Octagon Lewis is hoping to face the best version possible of Travis Browne, and he’ll give him the exact same from himself in return:
“I’m sure he don’t like everyone teasing him and saying he doesn’t have a good coach so I’m sure he’ll come out wanting to prove a point that he’s in the right place,” Lewis said. “Hopefully he comes out with his hands on fire. I’m expecting the worst.
“Actually, I’m expecting the best Travis Browne when we step into that cage and that’s what he’s going to get out of me.”
How do you think the Halifax main event will play out this weekend?