Derrick Lewis is one tough dude. Not just because he often takes a hell of a beating en route to knocking most of his opponents out. But because he often guts through injuries to show up on fight night.
Sure, sometimes that backfires on him … like when he fought Mark Hunt with a bad back that seized up on him mid-bout. And he hasn’t always pulled through: that same back issue took him off UFC 216 the week of. But in an era where so many main events fall out, one can appreciate an athlete fighting through injuries to step into the cage on fight night.
That’s apparently what Lewis did once again for this UFC Wichita main event against Junior dos Santos, which he lost via TKO in the second round. According to Las Vegas Sports Network reporter Helen Yee, Derrick’s knee was all sorts of messed up coming into Kansas.
Spoke to sources in Derrick Lewis’ camp who tell me Derrick came in w torn meniscus, ACL & MCL from a month ago. Lewis refused to pull from fight. That’s why Bob told him to finish after the first round. It wasn’t just his stomach. Knee was giving out. What a warrior #UFCWichita
— Helen Yee (@HelenYeeSports) March 10, 2019
”Spoke to sources in Derrick Lewis’ camp who tell me Derrick came in w torn meniscus, ACL & MCL from a month ago,” Yee wrote on Twitter. “Lewis refused to pull from fight. That’s why Bob [Perez] told him to finish after the first round. It wasn’t just his stomach. Knee was giving out. What a warrior.”
While anyone who bet money on Lewis is probably cursing right now, I can’t help but be impressed if this is confirmed. Lewis fought hard and fought well for the round and a half we saw against dos Santos. He was throwing head kicks and counters from hell like nothing was wrong.
Unlike the Hunt fight, his injury didn’t seem to blow everything up this time. You gotta give credit on that front to the spinning back kick to the gut “Cigano” landed near the end of the first.
Now let’s just hope “The Black Beast” heals up and is 100% for his next fight. We have a feeling his opponents aren’t going to be getting any easier moving forward.