This is a take you may not have expected to hear from Derrick Lewis.
The rapidly rising Lewis picked up what turned out to be the biggest win of his career at UFC 229 last Saturday. Facing a certain loss to previous No. 2 Alexander Volkov, Lewis stormed back with a jaw-dropping knockout in the final 10 seconds of the fight.
That win earned him a surprising title fight with champion Daniel Cormier in the main event of November 3’s UFC 230 from New York as a result. “The Black Beast” is a sizable underdog to double-champ Cormier. That’s hardly a surprise, however. More surprising was the simple fact that he got the bout considering Cormier was slated to fight Brock Lesnar in early 2019.
But UFC 230 needed a legitimate main event and it now has one. ‘The Black Beast’ is thankful for the opportunity. However, he’s still a bit surprised. Lewis recently told TMZ Sports (via MMA News) that he thought former champion Stipe Miocic deserved his shot:
“I don’t know why they don’t want to give it to Stipe. It’d been great for them to give it to Stipe than to me, but I appreciate them giving me the shot. I really believe that Stipe really deserves the shot, seeing as how he was the champion for a while, he defended that many times, and I guess dominant for a while.
“I don’t know why they gave it to me before they gave it to Stipe. Everyone else, whenever they lost their belt, they got a shot to win it back. I don’t know why they didn’t give it to Stipe, unless he wanted some time off.”
Miocic Is Mad
From his point of view, Miocic does not want any time off. He went off on Cormier on social media last night. The record-setting former champion, who was knocked out by Cormier in their first match at July’s UFC 226, said he would beat “DC” nine out of 10 times.
From a pure legitimacy standpoint, Miocic is undoubtedly the most deserving. He set the record for most consecutive title defenses in a division that is notoriously the toughest to do just that. But Miocic won’t get the coveted rematch. Cormier will only give him one if Lesnar can’t make it to their expected fight in 2019.
Even Lewis acknowledged that. Perhaps Miocic has a quicker path to a title fight if Lewis somehow shocks the world at UFC 230. Based on the odds, that shouldn’t happen. This is MMA, and anything can happen.
Do you agree with Lewis’ assessment of the messy situation?