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Derrick Lewis: I hope to fight Francis Ngannou ‘before he turns 50 on us’

Derrick Lewis wants a fight against former title contender Francis Ngannou sooner than later.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Lewis vs Browne Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a huge victory against Marcin Tybura almost three weeks ago in Austin, Texas, Derrick Lewis rightfully plans to move further forward in his fighting career. So for his next fight, “The Black Beast” is looking at facing the hard-hitting Francis Ngannou, and he hopes for it to happen sooner than later.

“Yeah, hopefully, we can get something done this year man. Hopefully, we can get something before he turns 50 on us,” Lewis said on a recent episode of the Slip n’ Dip podcast (transcript via MMA Fighting).

The 31-year-old Ngannou went on a tear since making his debut in 2015, scoring early finishes against all of his opponents. His streak, however, came to a halt at UFC 220 early this year when he fought for the heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic and lost via unanimous decision.

Lewis, meanwhile, may not have any interest in fighting for a UFC title but is looking to just facing contenders that are higher ranked than him.

“Usually after every fight, I tell [the UFC], ‘I would like to fight this guy,’” Lewis said. “I try to pick the toughest guys out there. I don’t try to pick anybody that’s behind me, I try to pick everybody that’s ahead of me in the rankings. So it’s the top five, top six.”

“I try to pick one of those guys that’s available. I told them, Francis, I told them [Alistair] Overeem, even a rematch with Mark [Hunt]. [Curtis] Blaydes. Fabricio [Werdum].”

Lewis (19-5, 1, NC, and 18 wins by stoppage) knocked out Tybura in the third round of their fight and won $50,000 for Performance of the Night.