Derrick Lewis is set to go under the knife.
The UFC heavyweight contender will undergo surgery on his injured left knee next Tuesday, ESPN reported earlier this week.
Lewis said he found out he had a torn ACL, MCL, and meniscus two weeks before his March 9 fight against Junior dos Santos in the UFC Wichita main event, which he lost via second-round TKO. Lewis was cleared by doctors to fight, per the report, but his coach Bob Perez told MMA Fighting last week that his training camp was very limited for the last month because of the injuries.
According to doctors, however, “The Black Beast” actually suffered the injuries in a February 2015 bout against Ruan Potts when Potts attempted a kneebar — meaning Lewis has been fighting with a hurt knee for the past four years. Lewis beat Potts via TKO.
In the dos Santos fight, Lewis was compromised because of the injuries, Perez said. At one point in the fight, the former UFC champ landed a nasty spinning back kick to Lewis’ belly. Lewis bent over, seemingly in pain, and never seemed to quite recover from that strike.
“I knew the knee was shot, I could tell by his movement that he just wasn’t there,” Perez said. “He actually held the knee a couple times.”
Lewis told ESPN that he felt his knee “go out on me” in the second round of the bout.
Lewis said he hopes recovery time from the surgery is about six months.
With the loss to dos Santos, Lewis’ skid moved to two in a row. He fell to heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 230 last November via submission. Prior to that, the Texas native was on an impressive run that included wins over Alexander Volkov and Francis Ngannou.