Derrick Lewis bounced back from an August TKO loss in a big way on Saturday when he stopped Chris Daukaus at the 3:36 mark of the first round. Lewis, who entered the main event of UFC Vegas 45 as the No. 3 ranked fighter in the official UFC heavyweight rankings, was an underdog for the third straight time walking into the cage on December 18th.
The Houston-based fighter’s victory, which took place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, put the former UFC title challenger on top of the all-time leader list for UFC knockouts with 13. But the win and the record didn’t remove the sting of his UFC 265 main event TKO loss to Ciryl Gane.
“But really [the knockout record] doesn’t change anything, because there’s still a lot of other guys that are active and have been doing pretty good as well,” Lewis said at the UFC 265 post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting).
“I preferred to get the win in Houston [at UFC 265] than here in the APEX, so it didn’t really erase anything. I’m still going to be thinking about [the Ciryl Gane loss] late at night.”
Gane stopped Lewis in the third round of their matchup. The interim UFC heavyweight title was on the line in that bout, which, as Lewis noted, took place in his hometown of Houston.
Gane and undisputed UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who Lewis defeated back in 2018 before Ngannou won the heavyweight title, are scheduled to meet in a title unification bout in January in the main event of UFC 270.
Lewis, when asked about the upcoming fight, did what he always does, giving an open and honest answer about his feelings for his divisional rivals.
“Ciryl, I guess he’s a good dude. He’s a likable guy,” Lewis said. “I couldn’t find anything wrong with him. Personality-wise, outside of fighting, he seemed like a pretty cool dude. Ngannou, on the other hand, he can kiss my ass. He seems like a d-ckhead 24/7, so f-ck him.”
UFC 270 is scheduled to take place at Honda Center in Anaheim, California on January 22. Alongside the heavyweight main event, the card is set to feature a flyweight trilogy bout between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo.