Last night, in the main event of the UFC’s latest trip to New Zealand, streaking heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis lumbered onto the canvas with a titan of the division in MMA legend Mark Hunt. Though Lewis was able to land some big punches in the second frame, this fight was almost all Hunt, who battered his exhausted foe to an impressive, fourth-round TKO victory.
In the wake of this win, Octagon commentator Brian Stann interviewed both the victorious Hunt and the vanquished Lewis.
During his interview with Stann, Lewis made the surprise announcement that this Auckland bout may have been his last ever, citing a long-standing and troubling injury to his lower back.
“It’s my lower back, not my leg,” Lewis told Stann. “My leg is good, yeah, it’s just a long-time time injury. I hurt it back in 2011, and it has just been hurting all week.”
“This was probably my last fight, you know,” Lewis elaborated when prompted by Stann. “I’m getting married next week, and I don’t like putting my family through all of this so this would be my last fight – most likely it’s my last fight in the UFC.”
Since joining the UFC fold in April of 2014, Lewis has carved out an impressive Octagon record of 9-3, which is highlighted by defeats of Damian Grabowski, Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson, Shamil Abdurakhimov, and Travis Browne. If the hulking Texan indeed does retire, he will do so as one of the hottest prospects in the talent-starved heavyweight division, as he entered his bout with Hunt as the division’s sixth-ranked fighter.
Do you think Derrick Lewis will actually retire in the wake of disappointing UFC Auckland loss to Mark Hunt, or were his emotions perhaps getting the better of him while he spoke to Stann?
Make your opinions heard in the comments section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/11/2017.