Derrick Lewis was finding his way to the top of the UFC’s heavyweight division. He was on a six-fight win streak and largely considered one of the fighters to watch when talking about the next contenders for the title.
Then he met Mark Hunt.
Hunt, 43, showed that age is but a number, beating Lewis, 32, in the main event at UFC Auckland on Sunday. The two went into the fourth round before Hunt unloaded a series of strikes that led to the fight being stopped and Lewis found himself defeated for the third time in the Octagon.
Moments later, Lewis explained during his post-fight interview that the Hunt fight was probably his last, indicating retirement might be on the horizon. Being relatively young in the division, Lewis can arguably return and have years ahead of him in the fight game, but he explained that he didn’t want to put his family through anything like they’ve dealt with while he’s been fighting.
Ngannou, who is ranked slightly ahead of Lewis in the UFC rankings, was on his laughing emoji game when talking about how the defeated fighter lost to someone 11 years his elder.
Lewis said I win Arlovski because he's old with 37 but Mark Hunt 43 years old beat he like a baby— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) June 11, 2017
Lewis and Ngannou have recently gone back and forth, trading barbs in the media and building up to a potential future bout. With Lewis announcing that he’s most likely retired at this point, there’s a level of uncertainty surrounding a showdown with Ngannou any time in the near future.
As for Browne, he set his sights on Lewis through Instagram, posting a message that touched on domestic abuse allegations. Browne was accused of abusing his ex-wife back in 2015, and Lewis took that as an opportunity to take shots at him in the media before they fought earlier this year. Additionally, when Lewis beat Browne in February, he used his post-fight interview to make some sexual comments towards Browne’s fiancee, former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
Lewis’ comments no doubt still bother Browne, and his Instagram post in which he tagged Lewis is clear indication.
Lewis’ future is still up in the air. He’s getting married next week, and last night’s post-fight interview suggests he’s probably not going to fight again.
If he does choose to fight, however, he has two fighters willing to trade shots with him — not just on social media, but face to face.