Derrick Lewis is a prominent mixed martial artist who currently competes in the Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Following a tumultuous childhood and a term in prison, this ardent fighter steered his path off fighting as the only means to live even if it means breaking heads and splitting bodies to a venture, one that he credits for saving him from a near-disastrous ending.
He turned pro in 2010 and has since competed in Bellator MMA and Legacy FC, where he was the heavyweight champion. His aggressiveness in the ring earned him the nickname The Black Beast. As of July 26, 2018, he is the number 2 in the official UFC heavyweight rankings.
Derrick Lewis’ Bio
The fighter was born on the 7th day of February 1985, as Derrick James Lewis in New Orleans, Louisiana where he was also raised. He had a troubled childhood and has been fighting all his life; he was often involved in street fighting. Lewis was highly athletic in high school and played football. A few years after his family moved to Houston, Texas in 1999, he started training in boxing but before he could have his first amateur fight, the gym he was training in shut down. As if that wasn’t enough to deter from his dreams, two weeks after he graduated from high school, he was charged with aggravated assault and was placed on probation.
Following his high school graduation, he was enrolled in Kilgore college on a full athletic scholarship but would drop out after only a year as he violated his prior probation. Consequently, he was sentenced to five years in prison though he eventually served only three and a half. Shortly after he was released, he was introduced to mixed martial arts by a friend who knew how he loved to fight. Lewis saw it as an easy way to make money and embraced it fully.
While working as a tow truck driver, he continued with boxing under the tutelage of the former professional boxer, George Foreman. Although he was on the way to becoming a pro boxer, he fell in love with MMA and has not looked back since he dominated in his first professional fight.
Derrick Lewis made his debut as an amateur fighter in late 2009 in a fight against Jay Ross which he lost via technical knockout (TKO). Despite the loss, it was his first step into dominating the combat arena. He won his next fight on January 30, 2010, against Tim Buchanan, and three months later, he turned pro.
On to his more winning streaks and dominance…. He compiled a fight record of 4-1 after which he signed with Bellator Fighting Championships in May. During his time in Bellator, he was noted for winning and successfully defending the Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship. After he left, he compiled a record of 6-0 with one no contest (NC). Then came his United Fighting Championship (UFC) phase.
Derrick Lewis made his UFC debut on April 19, 2014, in a fight against fellow newcomer, Jack May who he scored a TKO victory over in the first round. Since then, it has been a series of victories for the Black Beast. His last fight was with Francis Ngannou on July 7, 2018. Prior to that, he was plagued with back pain that has not only hampered his performances and kept him away from some of his matches but has been a constant source of worry to him and his fans alike.
The injury kept him from fully engaging in his last fight which he felt was a lackluster, even though he won via unanimous decision. Derrick Lewis has an MMA record of 20-5-0, 1 NC (win-loss-draw), a record of 17 wins by knockout, one by submission (armbar which is his favorite grappling technique), and seven first-round finishes. His favorite striking technique is the head kick. He is No 2 in the official UFC heavyweight rankings as of July 26, 2018.
He has also held three titles, including the Legacy Fighting Championship Heavyweight Champion. His next fight will be a big one. His slated fight with former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov on Oct. 6 in the co-main event of UFC 229 is surely one to look out for.
Like a pain in the neck that one doesn’t know how to deal with, Lewis has had a pain in his back that has plagued him for years. Most times he has had to fight his way through the pains and at other times, he pulled out. At one time, the pain even prompted him to briefly retire from MMA in 2017. Fortunately for him, he wouldn’t be calling the cards anytime soon as he has finally found a way to deal with and end the misery.
He revealed that he underwent a new treatment on his back which left his body feeling up to the challenge of taking on another fight camp. He was treated by the same doctor who treated the golf icon, Tiger Woods. It was a steroid treatment where he was given 20 shots of injection at the same spot. The procedure is approved by the USADA and is expected to last for 10 to 12 months. With rehab and a little weight loss added to the steroid shots, Lewis would have enough relief leading up to his fight with Volkov.
Family – Wife
Derrick Lewis was raised in a volatile household as one of seven siblings, the second oldest, by a single mother. Growing up without a father and with his mother embroiled in an abusive relationship, he had to witness constantly his mother and stepfather engage in fistfights from the time he was 8.
Thus, his earliest experience of fighting was in his own house and that would form the template for his later years. He was left to survive for the majority of his adult years in the streets. To escape the unforgiving streets, he did what he had to do even if it entails breaking a couple of heads and spilling blood to make it from day-to-day.
In time, he served some terms in prison wherein his transformation began. He dreamed of a better future for himself and went ahead to forge it. Ultimately, those years are far behind him as he seeks to make the lives of his family and children better than what he had.
He married his long-time girlfriend, April on June 17, 2017, in Hawaii. They already have three children together: a teenage daughter and two boys aged four and five.
Height, Weight, Body Measurements
Derrick Lewis is a fighter and as such nothing less than a ripped body would be expected from him. Anyway, he is not found wanting in that area. His 264 lb body is born by his 6′ 3″ (1.90 m) body frame. His other measurements include:
Reach: 79 inches
Leg Reach: 43 inches