Derrick Lewis is on hearth, however KO of Cormier could be his biggest viral hit | MMA


It was one half unabashed hair-trigger response, one other half hilarity. However 100 p.c pure, unfiltered Derrick Lewis — the one approach he is aware of find out how to be.

“My balls was sizzling,” the heavyweight infamously informed Joe Rogan contained in the Octagon after delivering a scintillating TKO towards Alexander Volkov through the waning seconds of the third spherical of their UFC 229 bout on Oct. 6.

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Immediately, Lewis grew to become a trending subject on Twitter. The clip of his quote went viral, garnering over three million views on YouTube and notoriety on Worldstarhiphop , alike.  His Instagram account exploded in newfound reputation.

“In all probability like 700,000 afterward,” Lewis informed Sporting Information about what number of new IG followers he gained, taking the entire to properly over the a million mark.

Sure, the UFC 229 primary occasion between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov and the following chaotic brawl that they had overshadowed everybody else on the cardboard — apart from Lewis. The mixture of his vicious TKO and amusing post-fight interview stored him a sizzling subject of MMA and popular culture conversations into that Sunday morning and properly past.

About 4 weeks later and Lewis continues to be sizzling. No, not his nether areas, however his genuine model of uncooked, say-whatever-comes-to-mind realness.

He just lately began pitching a t-shirt along with his four-word, four-syllable quote slapped on it and a physique and genital wash known as “Ballwash.”

Most significantly, he’s headlining UFC 230 at Madison Sq. Backyard on Saturday night time, when he’ll tackle Daniel Cormier with DC’s heavyweight title on the road. Already, he has one up on Cormier, as Lewis revealed Thursday through the UFC 230 media day that he earned an endorsement deal from Popeyes Louisiana Rooster.

Lewis brilliantly planted seeds for the endorsement deal throughout UFC 226 press convention again in July, when he was jokingly requested what his beef with DC is and hilariously responded with: “[Cormier] disrespected that Popeyes hen on a business just a few years in the past.”

The New Orleans native, Houston consultant joked with reporters Thursday in regards to the fast-food franchise paying him closely in “hen and cash” and even posted a shot of himself indulging within the hen on his IG account. Lewis additionally posted a photograph of an H-City Popeyes promising folks free hen for 2 hours if he defeats Cormier. (No stress, Derrick).

How a lot Popeyes contributed to Lewis’s weigh-in of 264.6 kilos is one thing solely he is aware of, though oddly sufficient, he appeared to look lean on the size Friday.

All Cormier may say in response to Lewis’s Popeyes endorsement is “it actually sucks.” However Cormier has received to be pleased for Lewis, at the same time as their conflict approaches.

The 33-year-old Lewis’s reputation is at an all-time excessive, however his day-one followers know that these outlandish feedback and dynamic punching energy aren’t something new.

Delve into the rabbit gap of his Instagram account and also you’ll see Lewis slicing up over comical viral bloopers and memes, whereas routinely asking about his crush and pondering, “the place Ronda Rousey wonderful ass is?” Though the latter is one thing that the UFC heavyweight’s spouse has put a cease to since, as she’s bored with it, in keeping with “The Black Beast.”

His document is as vivid at 21-5-1 NC, together with an electrical 18 KOs.

Via all of it, he has been doing it his approach by simply being himself. And simply because he’s headlining UFC 230 at Madison Sq. Backyard doesn’t imply that Lewis goes to carry his tongue now.

Lewis opted to carry a Q&A session with followers as an alternative of understanding in entrance of them this week hours earlier than the New York Knicks took the Backyard hardwood towards the Indiana Pacers. When one fan requested about Lewis’s pre-fight meal, “The Black Beast” stated his spouse’s bottom about as casually as somebody in Houston would ask for his beloved Rockets’ rating of the sport the following morning.

However as entertaining as Lewis is in-person, within the Octagon and on-line, a knockout of Cormier could be his biggest viral second but.

“It’d be disrespectful to the game as a result of I’ve no combined martial artwork background in any respect,” Lewis stated in regards to the state of affairs of him knocking DC out. “A man that’s heavyweight champion of the UFC, the place all these nice legends earlier than me had some kind of combined martial artwork historical past/background, and [me] being a champion. It’d simply be loopy.”


All knockout artists swing with unhealthy intentions. However some hit so laborious it’s as in the event that they’re channeling their dynamic punching energy; like that blunt pressure is coming from someplace. Derrick Lewis falls into the latter group and all of it stems from darkish experiences rising up as one in all seven in New Orleans, earlier than relocating to Houston.

“It was laborious, it was robust … simply watching my mother getting abused day-after-day and never be sturdy sufficient to tug my stepdad off of her … it’s similar to actual robust,” Lewis informed Sporting Information throughout UFC 230 media day on Thursday on the New York Marriott Marquis lodge in Occasions Sq.. “That’s what I take into consideration battle night time — not being sturdy sufficient or ok to get my father off of my mother and simply watching them battle for hours it looks like. I wouldn’t be right here immediately if I didn’t undergo the stuff I went by way of in my life.”

Lewis has been tried and true all through his life, by no means backing down from a confrontation, whether or not life-altering or not.

Though he doesn’t like speaking about it, whereas nonetheless in highschool, he reportedly beat up a KKK member who Lewis claims insulted him, as reported by . Lewis was arrested for the incident and given probation, which he violated the phrases of, touchdown him in jail for three-and-a-half years.

The run-ins continued behind bars as a proving level ceremony of passage.

“I used to be examined so much,” Lewis informed SN about his expertise. “Largely within the County [jail].”

“One of many [fights behind bars], I bear in mind, it was the UT recreation versus USC and the ability went out,” he continued. “The channel went out and the radio got here on. It was simply the play-by-play. So, one of many guys got here up and simply wished to vary the channel. And I used to be sitting within the day room, the one one watching TV anyway, and he modified the channel whereas I used to be watching.”

Exterior of jail, that may result in an argument. Behind bars, it’s a direct violation, with the retort many instances being an assault — on the minimal. And Lewis readily obliged.

“I didn’t say something to him and he went again and received up in his bunk,” Lewis remembers. “I simply pulled him by his legs from the highest bunk and simply began beating up on him.”

Others would suppose twice testing Lewis once more.

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Shortly after doing his bid, Lewis directed his anger to a brand new outlet — boxing. He started coaching at an area Houston gymnasium, the place a few coaches approached him in roughly 2009, in keeping with his recollection. The coaches struck up a dialog with the then-25-year-old and invited him to come back spar at one other gymnasium.

“Simply to see if I wasn’t ok to battle his son in a professional match,” Lewis stated.

By his son, Lewis is referring to the seed of boxing legend George Foreman.

“I wound up doing very well towards the man that they had me spar and so [Foreman] didn’t need me to battle his son anymore,” Lewis added. “He wished me to come back up below his wing and educate me find out how to field.”

A younger, hungry Lewis took Foreman up on the provide, studying to field from one of many Candy Science’s most-feared punchers for a short time. He’d make his professional combating debut simply a short time later through the spring of 2010, when be started working the battle circuit, which included stops at Bellator and Legacy FC, earlier than settling in on the UFC in April 2014 and by no means trying again.

If combating was one saving grace for Lewis, the opposite was assembly his spouse, April. 

“We been collectively for 10 years, we’ve been married for over a yr now,” Lewis informed a pool of reporters throughout UFC 230 open exercises on the Madison Sq. Backyard flooring earlier within the week.

They’ve three kids collectively.

Regardless of on the brink of defend his title towards him, Cormier can’t assist however respect Lewis’s glow up the MMA ranks and life normally.

“It is a man who went to jail as a youth, and actually, once you go to jail as a child — particularly a younger black child — lots of people quit on you,” Cormier informed a bunch of reporters. “In that cell, you inform your self lots of issues. You say, ‘I’m going to do higher after I get out, I’m gonna do that, I’m gonna do this.’ The overwhelming majority of the fellows who do say these issues, they by no means change. They return and do the identical factor. Derrick Lewis didn’t, proper? Derrick Lewis grew to become a millionaire. Derrick Lewis is combating for the heavyweight championship of the world.”

If Cormier isn’t cautious, Derrick Lewis is in place to listen to “ And new heavyweight world champion” related along with his identify through the wee hours of Sunday morning. And such an occasion would garner his most viral views but.

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