Derrick Lewis

The Black Beast

USA

Scores another main event victory
HeavyweightUFC
May 11, 2024
Lewis defeated Rodrigo Nascimento via TKO (punches) at 0:49 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in St. Louis.
ANALYSIS
This appeared to be an inevitable outcome in a fight Lewis appeared comfortable the entire way despite some early struggles. Derrick decided to try to grapple Nascimento early on, which actually didn't go all that badly, except for when Rodrigo reversed positions on him. The Brazilian racked up some more control time in Round 2, but Lewis never appeared to be in any legitimate trouble despite having Nascimento on his back. The dam predictably broke early in Round 3 when one of Lewis' trademark right hands connected and led to the finish. In order to defeat "The Black Beast" you either need to be an elite, high-level grappler, which Nascimento is, or be able to damage him on the feet, which Nascimento couldn't do. Lewis, now 39 years of age, remains as popular as ever despite being lightyears from the title picture. He should continue to get headlining gigs on Fight Night cards moving forward.
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Next fight booked
HeavyweightUFC
March 30, 2024
Lewis will face off against Rodrigo Nascimento at UFCSTL on May 11, Marcel Dorff of Eurosport.nl reports.
ANALYSIS
Lewis will return to the ring in May after suffering a defeat at the hands of Jailton Almeida in November. The 39-year-old American currently boasts a 16-10 record during his storied UFC career, but he is 1-4 in his last five bouts.
Grounded in main event loss
HeavyweightUFC
November 4, 2023
Lewis lost to Jailton Almeida via unanimous decision (44-50, 45-50, 45-50) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
ANALYSIS
The entire world knew Lewis' only path to victory in this fight was to knock Almeida out. He was hopelessly outclassed in terms of grappling. Derrick gave up a ton of takedowns and spent nearly the entire fight on his back. He actually defended pretty well, all things considered. Part of that was Almeida's inactivity despite spending virtually the whole fight in a dominant position. Lewis did all he could to work his way back to his feet or to try to fire off one of his trademark power shots when the opportunities presented themselves, but they were few and far between. Oddly enough, one can make a case Lewis comes out of this fight in better shape that Almeida. Sure, the latter won going away, but no one really considers "The Black Beast" a title contender at this point. He's all about putting on entertaining fights, which he couldn't do as the result of the stylistic matchup here. Lewis took this fight on short notice replacing Curtis Blaydes. Hopefully he gets a more reasonable opponent his next time out.
Facing Almeida in Brazil
HeavyweightUFC
October 9, 2023
Lewis (27-11-0) is scheduled to face Jailton Almeida (19-2-0) in a heavyweight fight at the UFC's Nov. 4 event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Marcel Dorff of Eurosport.nl reports.
ANALYSIS
Curtis Blaydes had been scheduled to face Almeida in Sao Paulo, but Blaydes ultimately withdrew from the fight to pave the way for Lewis to join the card. The upcoming bout with Almeida will mark Lewis' first chance to return to the Octagon since he signed an eight-fight extension with the UFC back in August.
Staying with UFC long-term
HeavyweightUFC
August 10, 2023
Lewis recently signed a new, eight-fight extension to remain with the UFC, Mike Heck of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Lewis showed up on the big stage in late-July with a first-round finish of Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC 291. After the fight, in always-entertaining fashion, Lewis announced that he had fought out his UFC contract and was set to enter free agency. It apparently didn't take long to have a deal in place, and it's likely one that keeps the 38-year-old heavyweight with the UFC for the remainder of his fighting career. While Lewis has fought for the belt in the past, it's most likely he won't see many title-implicating fights moving forward. Instead, the fan-favorite will continue to serve as a gatekeeper for a top-10 spot in the 265-pound rankings.
Enters free agency with record
HeavyweightUFC
July 29, 2023
Lewis defeated Marcos Rogerio de Lima via TKO (strikes) at 0:33 of Round 1 at UFC 291 on Saturday in Salt Lake City.
ANALYSIS
It's the 14th knockout victory of Lewis' UFC career, the most of all time. Derrick ran across the cage the second the opening bell rang and blasted Rogerio de Lima in the face with a flying knee. The Brazilian was never able to recover, with Lewis eventually landing countless unanswered strikes that forced referee Dan Miragliotta to step in. "The Black Beast" announced, in what was another epic post-fight interview, that this was the last fight on his UFC contract. The company might have decided to move on had Lewis lost a fourth straight fight, but with his popularity at an all-time high, both parties should have mutual interest in getting a deal done (as will the PFL, who may want to schedule a rematch with Francis Ngannou). While Lewis mulls over his free agency decision, he'll do so with an extra $50,000 in his pocket, as he was the recipient of one of four Performance of the Night bonuses awarded on the evening.