Derrick Lewis had more on the line than simply a win or loss at UFC 247. “The Black Beast” revealed he is battling a “life and death” medical issue and was told not to fight.
During Saturday night’s action at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, Lewis defeated Ilir Latifi by unanimous decision. He joined Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show to discuss his victory and shed light on his shocking medical condition.
“I’ll be available [to be a backup for Ngannou vs Rozenstruik fight],” he said. “But also, my coach wanted me to get something checked out that came up in my medicals that has been hindering my training.
“We’re really supposed to be keeping it on the down low, but I got to get it checked out,”
The 265-pound bruiser did not name his condition, but confirmed it happens to a variety of athletes, regardless of health.
“The UFC doctors know what it is and the doctors here in Houston know what it is,” he explained. “It’s just something that’s been going on that I still got to get addressed. Yes, it’s a life-or-death situation. [It’s] serious, yes.
“I’m dead serious,” he added. “It’s something that happens to a lot of athletes, it doesn’t matter if you’re healthy or not. It’s something that can still happen to you at the drop of a hat. That’s all I can say.”
Despite picking up a win against Latifi in front of his home crowd, Lewis was initially told not to fight. However, he received a second opinion from the UFC medical staff. After being given the go ahead, he decided to fight, but that didn’t stop him entering a fearful first round.
“My doctor told me he thinks I shouldn’t have taken this last fight,” he said. “He said that in a situation like this he don’t think I should fight. So I got a second opinion from the UFC doctors and they read over everything and checked everything out. They said it shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Yeah [I was worried], and then in the first round it happened, then I was like, ‘Okay. I’m just not going to think about it.’”
While fans can only speculate over Derrick Lewis’ health concerns, he intends on going to seeing a doctor to deal with it in the next two weeks.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/11/2020.