John McCarthy doesn’t think Derrick Lewis will ever wear UFC gold around his waist.
McCarthy, a longtime MMA refereee and now an analyst for Bellator spoke on his Weighing In podcast with Josh Thomson and had a harsh critique for Lewis. According to Big John, he believes Lewis is nothing more than a gatekeeper at heavyweight.
“He is a gatekeeper, though. Because he’s been given two title shots. He had the one against Cormier, he lost that one,” McCarthy said on his podcast about Lewis (via MMAJunkie). “He had the interim one against Ciryl Gane, he lost that one. Look, he can fight. He’s tough. He’s got certain aspects of the fighting game that he is incredibly powerful at. His ground-and-pound is mean.
“He is super-strong, but technical guys are going to give him fits, so is he ever going to be that guy that’s going to be the champion? I don’t think so,” McCarthy continued. “I don’t think he’s got that. If you’re the UFC, you’re saying, ‘If you can beat Derrick Lewis, you’re in this upper tier of the guys that we’re going to think about putting in title fights. If you can’t, it’s saying something about you.’”
Whether or not Derrick Lewis is a gatekeeper is up for debate as Lewis does have the most knockouts in heavyweight and UFC history. He has also been in the top-five for years now and holds a current win over the heavyweight champ. His one title shot also came on less than a months’ notice against Daniel Cormier.
McCarthy, however, does have a point that the people who have been able to beat Lewis in recent memory were champions at one point or top contenders at heavyweight. However, it’s likely Lewis will at least fight for UFC gold one more time in his career but if he loses, then perhaps he enters the gatekeeper conversation.
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