Derrick Lewis put himself in line for a title shot with a KO win over top contender Curtis Blaydes
last February. Although with Stipe Miocic set to defend his UFC title against Francis Ngannou, and Jon Jones also likely waiting in the wings after, Lewis could be waiting for a while before his title bout materializes.
So instead of holding out and waiting, “The Black Beast” is willing to risk his spot to make more money.
“For me, I want to stay active,” Lewis said on Joe Rogan’s podcast (Transcript via MMA Junkie). “I don’t want to be waiting around to fight anyone, because I’m not young like I used to (be). So I don’t want to wait around and fight for the title or wait around to fight a certain opponent. I want to fight anyone who is ready.
“I know my window of time is closing to make money. I don’t have that much time left to make money, so I don’t want to just sit around.”
Lewis says he has one fight left on his current UFC contract, and plans to keep active as soon as he gets a new deal finalized.
The hard hitting heavyweight also says he’s open to facing fellow top contender Cyril Gane, if the UFC is open to the idea.
“It all depends,” Lewis said. “I don’t know how the UFC wants to build up that Ciryl Gane guy or if they want to get him in there in the mix right away.
“I started getting tagged in the fight (clips on social media), because they said (Gane vs. Rozenstruik) still wasn’t worse than me and Francis. I’m like, ‘Damn. OK. S—t.’”
Lewis, now 36, has already been the most active heavyweight in the UFC for years. He also holds the record for most knockouts in the UFC heavyweight history.