Derrick Lewis is meeting Serghei Spivac in the headliner for the UFC’s latest APEX card this weekend. The heavyweights were due to meet in November, but that main event fell apart on fight day due to what was, at the time, called an ‘undisclosed reason’.
Lewis has now revealed that a COVID-19 infection lead to that last minute fight cancellation. He told the story to Sports Illustrated.
“It was a bummer,” he said. “I wanted to fight. I felt like I trained as hard as I could, but I ended up getting COVID. No one knows this but my family and my coaches. I ended up catching COVID the week of the fight.”
“I probably had COVID for three weeks after that,” continued Lewis. “It was just hard. But I’m feeling good. I trained even harder for this fight. I’ve heard about the suffering that can come from COVID when it comes to your lungs. So I trained hard, and I’m feeling healthy. I haven’t had any issues.”
Now healthy, Lewis said he is looking forward to finally meeting Spivac in the cage.
“This is the perfect matchup. I’m ready for wherever the fight goes. I believe it’s a great fight for me coming off a couple losses. And my birthday is Tuesday. I need a win so I can go out and celebrate my birthday and start the year off right.”
Lewis has been on a bit of a skid lately, going 2-3 in his last five bouts. His wins over that period are KOs over Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus. The losses are all stoppages, first to Ciryl Gane in a UFC interim heavyweight title bout, then to Tai Tuivasa and, most recently, Sergei Pavlovich.
Spivac is on a two fight winning streak having TKO’d Greg Hardy and Augusto Sakai.
When is UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Spivac?
UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Spivac, aka UFC Vegas 68, takes place on Saturday, February 4. The prelims begin at 10 p.m. ET and the main event starts at 1 a.m. ET. The event will be broadcast on ESPN+.
About the author: Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. (full bio)