Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou’s co-main event meeting at last night’s (Sat. July 7, 2018) UFC 226 pay-per-view (PPV) was absolutely horrible.
For a fight that was getting a ton of hype before it was even announced as the card’s co-main event, not to mention some mixed martial arts (MMA) fans were looking forward to this fight more than the actual main event, it’s now being called one of the worst fights in UFC heavyweight history.
Neither Lewis or Ngannou pulled the trigger in the 15 minutes they shared the Octagon. Ngannou was certainly the more hesitant of the two, refusing to throw shots unless it was off a counter strike.
Lewis clearly did the most of the fighting, but even that was still at an extremely minimal level. “The Black Beast” earned the victory on the judges’ scorecards. Despite the win, the UFC decided it wasn’t worth a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, who called it the worst heavyweight fight he had ever seen.
Instead, Lewis got the chance to speak at the UFC 226 post-fight press conference. Lewis acknowledged he had a bad performance and thinks the win hurts him a lot more than it helped him:
“It was a terrible performance,” Lewis said. “I know I say that a lot but it was a real bad performance. I know for sure I don’t deserve a title shot. I believe it (the win) hurt me more than it helped me. I got the win but I believe it set me, probably, like two fights back.”
When asked if he knew if Ngannou would attempt to play counter striker, Lewis admitted he is susceptible to big punches when he throws his right hand, and suspected “The Predator” would try and capitalize on that. He also revealed the initial game-plan was to try and get Ngannou to the ground – something he was unable to do several times in the fight:
“We did. We knew he really wanted to counter me coming in with my right hand, because I’m real vulnerable when I come in with my right hand cause I just throw it straight and I lean over whenever I throw it. He really wanted to catch me coming in and hit me with an uppercut or a left hook. So that was the gameplan really. The gameplan really was to take his ass down.”