Being a UFC fan can be tough sometimes. Near weekly shows, late nights, and lackluster main events can make following UFC closely feel like a bit of a chore. I think we’ve all questioned our life choices after staying up until 1:30 am to see Artem Lobov or David Branch headline a show.
But sometimes we are treated to a gem. A gem that makes the late nights and so-so fights all worth it. Sometimes we are treated to a gem like Derrick Lewis. He’s not yet particularly well known to the average fan but he is nearly always entertaining.
His latest entry to his portfolio involved eating leather from Alexander Volkov for fourteen minutes and forty-five seconds before knocking the Russian out cold. It was peak Derrick Lewis, or so it seemed. He went on to take his shorts off because, as he told Joe Rogan, his “balls was hot.”
OK, that’s peak Derrick Lewis.
UFC 230 was instantly improved
As a result of this performance coupled with the collective groan that the announcement of Sijara Eubanks vs. Valentina Shevchenko as a main event for UFC 230 was met with, Lewis will receive a heavyweight title shot against Daniel Cormier. It’s very short notice, and Lewis spoke openly about not being ready for a title shot, but he’s taking the fight anyway.
Equally surprising is that Cormier accepted the fight as well. Cormier has two huge fights and paydays in his back pocket. One with a returning Jon Jones, and another that was set up live in the cage against Brock Lesnar. The Lesnar fight was presumed to be taking place sometime early next year after Lesnar re-entered the USADA testing pool in July. The Lesnar fight is a guaranteed big-time payday for Cormier, and is also a very winnable fight for the champ.
All of that money, and the title are at risk when Cormier takes on Lewis on Nov. 3 in Madison Square Garden. Lewis proved at UFC 229 that he has knockout power at any given second of the fight. Lewis could inexplicably be UFC heavyweight champion in just a few weeks time, and I pray that it happens.
The Beast and The Black Beast
If Brock Lesnar is going to return to UFC, he’s going to do it whether Cormier is champion or not. If Lewis beats Cormier and UFC decides to put him against Brock Lesnar, it would be the gift UFC fans have been waiting patiently for.
Fight fans deserve fun fights and the build up to a Lewis-Lesnar fight would be phenomenal. With Lewis’ newly found Instagram fame thanks to the plug by Joe Rogan, he will be able to use social media to promote a main event fight in a way that likely has never been seen before.
A fight between Lesnar and Lewis would also expose Lewis to an audience that may not yet know him, but is highly likely to appreciate him. When Lesnar fights on pay-per-view, he brings with him a swath of pro-wrestling fans who only order UFC shows when he is on. These fans are more likely than any other subsection of MMA fans to appreciate Lewis’ showmanship and humor.
So when Derrick Lewis and Daniel Cormier throw down on Nov. 3, please join me in rooting for “The Black Beast.” It might be what’s best for the sport. And even if it’s not, we deserve it anyway.