Derrick Lewis opens up on his disappointing fight with Francis Ngannou: “It hurt me more than it helped me”

Derrick Lewis

Derrick Lewis’ UFC 226 fight with Francis Ngannou was supposed to be a wild, heavyweight slobber-knocker. Instead, the fight was frankly terrible, as Ngannou looked like he’d been shot with tranquilizer dart during his walkout, and apparent back problems stopped Lewis from mounting any meaningful offense of his own.

Speaking at the UFC 226 post-fight press conference, Lewis, who won this insipid contest by unanimous decision, spoke about his performance.

“It was a terrible performance,” Lewis told reporters (via MMAjunkie). “I know I say that a lot, but it was real bad of a performance.”

Lewis was hoping that an impressive win over the recent title challenger Ngannou would earn him a heavyweight title shot. Instead, he feels his decision win actually set him back a few fights.

“I know for sure I don’t deserve a title shot,” he said. “I believe it hurt me more than it helped me. Even though I got the win, I believe it sent me, probably, about two fights back.”

“My ass needs to sit down somewhere and learn some more technique or something,” he added later. “I don’t deserve to call anyone out. With a performance like that, I don’t care if he is the No. 1 contender; I shouldn’t be fighting no one, really, with a performance like that.”

Derrick Lewis then shared his game plan for this fight — admitting he didn’t follow it whatsoever.

“We knew he really wanted to counter me, coming in with my right hand,” Lewis said. “Because they know I’m real vulnerable when I come in with my right hand – because I just throw it straight and I lean over whenever I throw it. I know he really wanted to catch me coming in and hit me with a uppercut left hook.

“Really, the game plan was to take his ass down, and I already told my coach I don’t know how to take down. I don’t know to do takedowns.”

Finally, Lewis confirmed that his bad back — which has forced him out of fights in the past — was slowing him down in the cage.

“My back was killing me,” Lewis said. “All I wanted to do was just sit down and stay on that bench. … It was embarrassing. I wanted to go, but my body wouldn’t let me.”

“I wanted to knock his ass out,” Lewis added. “Goddamn, I wanted to knock him out. He’s talking all this shit before the fight, and I just wanted to knock him out. He whispered in my ear, talking about how I’m going to sleep. I really wanted to knock him out, so anything besides a knockout is a disappointment.”

What is your take on Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou’s disappointing UFC 226 fight?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/9/2018.