Top UFC heavyweight prospect Derrick Lews’ next opponent has finally been announced and it’s a big one…. literally.
Lewis (15-4) is now set to take on No. 10 heavyweight Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson in the co-main event of the July 7th UFC Fight Pass card two days before UFC 200.
In a recent interview last week with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, the No. 13-ranked Lewis expressed his interest in the possibility of taking on Nelson. Lewis called out “Big Country” following his victory over Gabriel Gonzaga in Croatia:
“It’s a fight that I want and I believe they’re gonna give it to me”, Lewis explained. “I believe it’s going to be an exciting fight. It’s gonna be a fan favorite fight, and the fans are really gonna be the winner. Its not gonna be a boring fight.”, Lewis said. “Someone’s going to sleep for sure if that fight happens”
Lewis also claimed that a fight with Nelson has been on his mind for quite some time and also expressed his admiration for the heavyweight veteran:
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about the Roy match-up way before I even got into the UFC. Its just the way he fights”, said Lewis. “I’m a fan of him really you know, I love Roy.”
“I love to watch him fight, no matter what. Pay-per view, Fight Pass or what. I always tune in just to watch Roy Nelson. I’m a fan of him, no disrespect or nothing like that. It’d just be a dream come true just to fight a guy that I really basically grew up watching.”
Lewis is coming hot off a first round knockout win over heavyweight legend Gonzaga at UFC Fight Night 86 in Croatia earlier this month.
Nelson (21-12) is coming off of a victory of his own, defeating Jared Rosholt via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 82 in early February. That victory snapped a three fight losing streak, giving Nelson his first victory in nearly two years.
“The Black Beast” also believes he’s not too far away from a title shot in the thin heavyweight division.
“I believe I’m, probably like two more fights away. The way the heavyweight division is, guys always pulling fake injuries and stuff like that,” Lewis explained.
“So you never know if I get past whoever I get past next, my next fight. I might be fighting for the title maybe in December or something like that. Or for sure next year”
The Fight Pass exclusive card is headlined by a lightweight championship bout between Rafael dos Anjos and top contender Eddie Alvarez.
A win over “Big Country” could thrust Lewis into the Top 10 conversation, potentially setting up the greatness this young fighter’s career is capable of having.