Derrick Lewis has always been open about his admiration for Ronda Rousey. It all started in June of last year when they met during the UFC Fight Night 105 bout against Rousey’s husband, Travis Browne.
Their first meeting wasn’t an embarrassing moment for the man because he finished Rousey’s husband by TKO in their match.
In a few days, Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis will be fighting for the biggest break in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. The heavyweight contender is set to face off the former title challenger Francis Ngannou on the main card of UFC 226 this July 7.
Derrick Lewis Vows to Impress Ronda Rousey
However, Lewis seems to be bothered by the possibility that Ronda Rousey might be watching his match from the cage-side. In a few days, the “Baddest Woman on the Planet” will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, during the International Fight Week. According to Lewis, upon learning about the induction, he sent the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion some flowers.
Lewis jokingly told FloCombat when asked about Rousey’s Hall of Fame induction,
“I already sent her flowers,”
“You’re trying to distract me. I’ve got to fight extra hard, she might go to the fight. She might be watching. Now I’m nervous.”
Lewis Currently Dedicated to His Training in Preparation For UFC 226
But all his anxiousness seem to set aside with his current intense training. Lewis has already successfully won seven of his eight UFC bouts, with six knockouts.
Yet, the heavyweight contender still admits that he didn’t train as hard as other fighters. He claims that he’s been training harder and trying to eat clean to get ready for Ngannou in their UFC 226 bout.
“Let’s just say I’ve been training a lot more than I have been,” Lewis said. “My past fights, I probably only trained 30 minutes a day. Now I’m training at least two or three hours a day. I’m training more serious. I’m doing everything that I needed to be doing that a mixed martial artist is supposed to be doing. Like trying to eat right ’cause at first, I wasn’t eating right at all. I’m trying to eat right. I’m still slipping up here and there.”
The Black Beast is also trying to add some spice to his MMA game. “Just working on everything, not just my stand up,” Lewis said, “I’m working on everything, my wrestling, jiu-jitsu, conditioning, everything. I’m taking it more serious,” he added.
Will We Witness a Slimmer Lewis on UFC 226?
“If I knock him out, it’s a title shot,”
“If I win by decision, then I should fight Curtis Blaydes.”
Lewis says he’s inspired to do his best performance to impress Rousey, just in case she watches his UFC 226 fight.