Derrick Lewis joined Jim Norton and Matt Serra on the UFC Unfiltered podcast to discuss his upcoming bout with Ilir Latifi.
Lewis (22-7, 1NC), who is currently ranked fifth among UFC heavyweights, welcomes divisional newcomer Ilir Latifi at UFC 247 on February 8th 2020.
‘The Black Beast’ suggested that Ilir Latifi (14-7, 1NC) called for the bout because his camp (American Top Team) considers Lewis as an easy route to heavyweight success.
“Why do you think he [Latifi] took you? Do you think he thinks that he’s going to try to put you on the ground?” Co-host Jim Norton asked the UFC athlete.
To which Lewis replied, “I believe so. Even Shawn Jordan was over [at American Top Team] too and so they been training for me, for years. You know all the guys, just about every guy over there I fought already. So they felt like they got the recipe out on me.”
Earlier last year, Lewis was beaten at UFC Fight Night 146 by ATT standout Junior dos Santos via a second round TKO. The 34-year-old Lewis believes that the Florida based camp considers him to be the weakest fighter in the heavyweight top five.
“They look at me like the weakest in the top five. The more easier fight for them.”
Lewis also mentioned that he has been the subject of multiple call-outs and not just from American Top Team heavyweights. A certain ATT welterweight was also looking to get involved in the action.
“So all of those guys have been calling me out left and right. Just about everybody over there. Greg Hardy, [Latifi], Junior dos Santos, what is the other guy’s name — the crazy one — the one that just fought? Colby [Covington].”
Matt Serra jokingly insinuated that the founder of American Top Team, Dan Lambert has put a “hit” out on Lewis, saying; “[Lambert’s] got a problem with ‘The Black Beast’, I got a problem with Dan Lambert.”
Lewis recently snapped a two-fight losing streak in his most recent outing against Blagoy Ivanov, who coincidentally was Latifi’s first opponent in professional MMA. Meanwhile Latifi is hoping to turn around back-to-back losses with a foray into the heavyweight division.