UFC heavyweight contender Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis returns to action in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 4 this weekend when he takes on former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos in a battle of the sport’s big knockout artists.
Dos Santos is one of the most likeable fighters in the sport, but I’m sure even ‘Cigano’ himself will concede that Lewis is even more of a popular figure heading into Saturday night’s fight in Wichita, Kansas.
His tilt at the UFC heavyweight title may have fallen short in his last fight but here at Paddy Power, Lewis remains the heavyweight champion of our hearts.
Here are just a handful of the reasons why…
1. He finishes fights in devastating fashion
While some UFC fighters label themselves as strikers, grapplers or mixed martial artists, Lewis prefers to be labelled as a “brawler”. That’s because his no-nonsense fighting style is exactly that.
And when he finds his range and flips the switch… oh boy. His heavy-handed ground-and-pound onslaughts are truly terrifying at times as he rains down powerful punches on his opponents.
But, he’s not just a ground-and-pound merchant. UFC heavyweights stand with ‘The Black Beast’ at their peril. Just ask Russian Alexander ‘Drago’ Volkov who, with just a matter of seconds remaining in the fight, appeared to be cruising to a decision victory. Then Lewis connected clean. Game over!
— UFC (@ufc) November 2, 2018
2. His Instagram game is off the charts
Derrick’s Instagram account has to be seen to be believed. A fair amount of it is certainly NSFW, but it’s always entertaining. The UFC’s social media team, perhaps surprisingly, seemingly hasn’t had words with Lewis, whose IG game remains as strong as ever.
Instead of curtailing ‘The Black Beast’s’ posts, the UFC instead curated a few “best bits” from those few posts they decided were fit to redistribute…
The ? of IG?
— UFC (@ufc) October 15, 2018
3. He’s the king of the one-liner
Lewis isn’t always the chattiest fighter on the UFC roster, but put a microphone in front of him and there’s a better than average chance you’ll get some gold.
Whether it’s a press conference, a media scrum or a post-fight interview, Lewis is must-see TV every time he appears in front of a mic.
4. He’s a bona-fide hero
Lewis is a proud resident of Houston, Texas, and he jumped the aid of his fellow Houstonians when Hurricane Harvey hit the city and surrounding areas, causing mass flooding and leaving scores of people trapped.
Rather than holding himself up in his house, Lewis took to his big pick-up truck and set off through the flood waters to rescue stranded people.
He even rescued a man who insisted on saving his Confederate flag from his pick-up truck. Despite the flag’s link with racism in the United States, Lewis didn’t flinch and rescued the man, regardless.
“I don’t care about that,” Lewis said.
“I live in Texas. It ain’t nothing new. I’ve been living in the South all my life, and it ain’t nothing I hadn’t seen before or discussed. I don’t care about that type of stuff. I just wanted to help him.”
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) October 7, 2018
5. His balls were hot…
After Lewis claimed a stunning come-from-behind knockout win over Volkov, he tore off his shorts during his celebrations. And when UFC co-commentator Joe Rogan stepped into the octagon to chat to him about his win, he had to address the obvious question.
It produced the greatest opening exchange in a post-fight interview. Ever.
“My balls was hot” trended worldwide almost instantly following that interview as the exchange between Lewis and Rogan went viral.
But that now-infamous quote didn’t just get laughs. It also got Lewis an endorsement deal with a suite of products that offered the perfect synergy for ‘The Black Beast’s’ uncomfortably warm testicles. Don’t believe us? Check this out…
Watch Lewis this weekend
Lewis takes on dos Santos in a pivotal clash in the UFC’s heavyweight division in Wichita, Kansas.
* All odds correct at time of posting.