Earlier this month, the UFC touched down in Albany New York with UFC Fight Night 102. In the main event, rising heavyweight Derrick Lewis took on Dagestani prospect Shamil Abdurakhimov. Though Lewis didn’t exactly dazzle in this fight, he was ultimately able to put Abdurakhimov away with a fourth-round TKO.
In the wake of this win, Lewis was incredibly critical of his own performance, telling Octagon-side commentator Jon Anik that it was one of the “terriblest” fights of his career. When asked by Anik who he would like to fight next, Lewis explained that he had plans to call out Travis Browne or Mark Hunt, but wasn’t sure if this was the right move given his less-than-stellar performance.
“I was gonna say I want Travis Browne or Mark Hunt,” Lewis said in his post fight interview. “But this performance right here is some sh*t, so I’m gonna sit my ass down.”
While this wasn’t exactly a callout in the traditional sense, Lewis earned one of the fights he was initially angling for, as he’s been booked for a scrap with Browne at UFC 208 on February 11 on Brooklyn.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Browne weighed in on this recently announced fight, explaining that while he respects Lewis as a fighter, his callout made the fight personal.
“He’s looking up and down the top 10 for the easiest fight and choosing my name,” Browne said of Lewis’ callout. “I don’t know how much more personal it gets than that. I’m not usually one to talk trash, and I do respect him as a fighter, but you want to test yourself, buddy? I’m your man. I’ll show you what this sh*t is all about up here.”
Lewis will enter his bout with Browne on a five fight win-streak, including four wins by knockout or TKO. Browne, meanwhile, has lost his last two fights, coming up short against former champions Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum.
Do you understand Browne’s frustration with Lewis’ callout, or do you think his reaction is a bit overblown? Sound off, PENN Nation!