Derrick Lewis
The Black Beast
Injury Knee
Est. Return 9/1/2019
Timetable set after surgery
March 26, 2019
Lewis is expected to miss 4-to-6 months following Tuesday's scheduled knee surgery, Greg Rosenstein of ESPN reports.
It was revealed after his loss to Junior dos Santos that Lewis has been dealing with a partially torn ACL, in addition to a fully torn MCL and meniscus. The knee problems have plagued the heavyweight fighter for quite some time, and there was speculation around his camp that his coaches perhaps wanted him to withdraw from the UFC Wichita main event. Lewis still took his pay day and competed, but will now finally address some of these health concerns. Even with a bad knee, Lewis showed heavy power punches that fans have come to expect from "The Black Beast," but he was ultimately bested by what appeared to be a superior fighter in dos Santos. It was the second consecutive loss for Lewis after winning his previous three bouts, but one has to wonder what the 34-year-old fighter is capable of at full strength with both legs under him. Fight fans will have to wait until late-2019 to see that potential ceiling.
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Headed for ACL surgery
March 19, 2019
Lewis (knee) will undergo surgery next Tuesday for a torn ACL in his left leg, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Lewis has reportedly been fighting with a torn ACL for the past four years and felt it "go out" during the second round of his bout with Junior dos Santos earlier this month. In addition to the ACL injury, he's also torn his MCL and meniscus, so The Black Beast will take some time off to undergo a procedure and clean up the knee. Lewis is aiming to be sidelined for approximately six months before returning to the Octagon.
May take time to rehab knee injury
March 13, 2019
Lewis' coach, Bob Perez, said Monday that the heavyweight fighter battled a "major" knee injury heading into his second-round TKO loss to Junior dos Santos over the weekend at UFC Wichita, Marc Raimondi of reports.
Perez noted that the injury prevented Lewis from running as part of his training prior to the bout, though Perez noted his pupil received full clearance from a doctor to compete. The injury coupled with the weight Lewis needed to cut ahead of the fight likely impacted his performance against dos Santos and could prompt the 34-year-old to take some extra time off before returning to the Octagon. Perez said if it were up to him, Lewis would take the next seven months off before fighting again late in 2019, but it's unclear if Lewis actually intends to wait that long.
Finished by Junior dos Santos in Wichita
March 9, 2019
Lewis lost to Junior dos Santos via TKO (punches) at 1:58 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Wichita, Kansas.
It was a typical Lewis fight in the sense that there was a crazy amount of action in a short period of time. Lewis appeared to be moving better in the early stages of the bout than at any point in recent memory and he started off throwing a ton of kicks. Round 1 was a back and forth affair before Dos Santos smashed "The Black Beast" with a spinning kick to the gut that turned the tide of the fight. Lewis was in immediate agony and although he managed to somehow survive the round, he never truly recovered. Lewis landed two or three of his trademark bombs, but JDS ate them. Having entered the company nearly five years ago as nothing but roster depth, Lewis has already competed in five main events and fought for the UFC Heavyweight Championship during his time with the UFC. There will be more ups and downs for the 34-year-old moving forward, but he's clearly a fan favorite and will continue to get high-profile fights despite Saturday's setback.
Headlining UFC Fight Night in March
January 7, 2019
Lewis and Junior dos Santos will headline UFC Fight Night on March 9 in Wichita, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Lewis will be looking to bounce back from a loss against Daniel Cormier in his title shot at UFC 230 in November. Cormier submitted him in the second round, the first time he'd been submitted in his professional career. He'd gone 9-1 over his last 10 matches prior to that defeat. His opponent, dos Santos, won both of his matches in 2018 but had gone 3-4 over his previous seven.
Comes up short in quest for UFC gold Saturday
November 3, 2018
Lewis came up short in his quest for the UFC Heavyweight Champion on Saturday, falling to Daniel Cormier via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:14 of Round 2 at UFC 230 in New York City.
Some people are going to say that Lewis didn't take advantage of his opportunity, but the fact of the matter is that he was giving up so much in terms of grappling that he never truly had a chance to beat Cormier. Lewis had about a minute in each of the first two rounds before DC easily planted him on his back. Lewis did all he could from bottom position, he was even able to get back to his feet a few times, but he was unable to create the necessary separation to threaten Cormier on the feet. Lewis is ridiculously entertaining but there is no way he is the top heavyweight contender. He is going to continue to get meaningful fights because he is honest and genuine, but he certainly has his limitations. Considering where he came from, Lewis deserves massive credit for even getting to this point regardless of Saturday's result.