UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis took a split decision win over Ilir Latifi at last weekend’s UFC 247 in Houston, TX. After getting the big win, in his hometown, Lewis spoke to MMA media about what went down and what might happen next.
In the scum, video provided by MMA Fighting, Lewis said he hoped to compete at least three more times in 2020. He also said that he can “start talking about the title”.
Lewis also took time to discuss his previous assertion that renowned MMA camp American Top Team had been targeting him. “It seemed like a lot of the ATT guys wanted to come after me or fight me, stuff like that,” said Lewis. “Like [Junior dos Santos], Greg Hardy and I think some other guys, too, that have been throwing my name in their mouth.”
The media then asked if Lewis was interested in fighting former NFL player Greg Hardy.
“Nah, I don’t think so. Nah,” responded Lewis.
When pressed on who he would like to fight next, Lewis re-iterated that it wouldn’t be Hardy. “I don’t care who, man — with [Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic] holding up the division. So it really don’t matter who. I don’t care. Anybody, but Greg Hardy. I’m not showing him no more attention.”
Lewis then added that he and Hardy sharing the same mangers — Malki Kawa and First Round Management — was somehow connected to his reluctance to fight him.
“We’ve both got the same manager and my manager keeps telling him to be quiet and my manager is telling me, don’t even worry about it.”
This marks a change in tune for Lewis. In April, 2018, when Hardy’s MMA career was trending towards inclusion in the UFC, Lewis said; “He’s a wife beater. I’d like to get in there with him. I like knocking these wife beaters out. Yeah, I’ll fight Greg Hardy. It’d be like vice versa of him beating all the women; I’ll be beating him like he’s a woman.”
Hardy was arrested in 2014 on suspicion of strangling an ex-girlfriend, along with throwing her into furniture and threatening to kill her. A judge found him guilty of assault and communicating threats and sentenced him to 18 months probation and a suspended 60-day jail sentence. Hardy appealed the ruling and requested a jury trial. The appeal was granted, but the victim failed to appear in court. This resulted in the prosecution dropping charges against Hardy. Authorities believe the victim did not show up after reaching an agreement on a civil settlement with Hardy.
Hardy officially joined the UFC last year and has already fought five times for the promotion. He also made two appearances on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2018.
After his win over Blagoy Ivanov at UFC 244 last November ‘The Black Beast’ re-stated interest in fighting Hardy. “I want Greg Hardy, to get his ass out of the UFC,” said Lewis. “He’s making everyone else look bad. So, we don’t need him to win no more fights.”
After Lewis’ November comments regarding Hardy, the disgraced former football star fired back. “I think he’s a felon,” said Hardy. “He’s been to prison. I just don’t think somebody that’s been to prison is allowed to say what the standard is... We don’t listen to people that contradict themselves.”