It will be an important fight for both fighters with title implications.
The fight was supposed to take place last November at UFC Vegas 15, but the fight got cancelled as Derrick Lewis tested positive for covid-19 a day before the fight. If Derrick Lewis manages to win this weekend, it would put him one step closer to the title. He has experience in fighting for the title as he took on Daniel Cormier at UFC 230 back in 2018. He lost the fight via rear-naked choke submission in the second round.
While speaking to media ahead of UFC Vegas 19, he said that the mere fact about him fighting for the title one day was crazy.
“That would be crazy,” Derrick Lewis said. “That would be really crazy for a guy like me, going through all the stuff that I went through, and becoming UFC champion, heavyweight champion of the world. That’s just crazy to even put in the same sentence as my name: ‘Derrick Lewis, heavyweight champion of the world.’
“It just felt even crazy when they announced I have the all-time knockouts in the UFC compared to all the thousands of other guys who fought before me and all the big knockout artists that they had. It’s crazy that I’m the No. 1 guy now. It’s like crazy, especially how I used to approach the sport, not even really taking it seriously. To even be this far in my career is just so crazy.”
Derrick Lewis has two-fights left in his UFC contract
Derrick Lewis currently has two-fights left in his UFC contract and he is hoping that a win could bolster his chances of getting a higher pay during the contract negotiation period.
“Even if it’s not a significant bump, that’s fine,” Derrick Lewis said. “It’d be great if I could get a significant bump (in pay). I’m not gonna even say any more about it. But yeah, it’d be great. … I’m really going into this fight because I have one more fight on my contract after this one. I have to perform (as) I’ve never performed before, especially if I want a better contract than I have right now. I’m going into this fight like it’s going to be my last shot at the UFC. I have to go out there and perform to the best of my abilities.” (H/T – MMA Junkie)