Is Derrick Lewis’ Career Over?
After the main event of Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night event in Auckland, New Zealand, Derrick Lewis announced that his main event bout with Mark Hunt he had that night was "most likely" the final bout in his professional MMA career.
"That was probably my last fight," Lewis said. "I’m getting married next week. I don’t like putting my family through all this."
If this truly is Lewis’ last fight, it’s the end of a career that may have a lot of "what could have been" questions attached to it, similarly to when Anthony "Rumble" Johnson retired after UFC 210 back in April.
Lewis was introduced to MMA after a trouble youth. Lewis was involved in a lot of street fighting while growing up, but he was soon introduced to boxing. Right before he was scheduled to make his amateur debut, the gym closed. Weeks after graduation, Lewis was charged with assault and placed on probation. That probation was violated while he was in college, and Lewis spent three and a half years behind bars.
Lewis was not only then introduced to MMA, but he continued to train boxing under the legendary George Foreman. But after Lewis’ first pro MMA bout, a dominant second-round TKO victory back in April 2010, Lewis chose to focus on MMA.
After winning three of his next four, Lewis fought a bout in Bellator MMA’s early days. At Bellator 46, in June 2011, Lewis was defeated by Tony Johnson via unanimous decision.
But after winning three of his next four, Lewis defeated Jared Roshalt to win the Legacy FC heavyweight championship at Legacy FC 13 in August 2012. He defended the title once — against Ricky Shivers at Legacy FC 18 in March 2013, winning the bout by TKO.
About a year later, and Lewis made it to the UFC, defeating Jack May via first-round KO in his first bout in the promotion. He would win two of his next four before going on a six-fight win streak. During that streak, Lewis picked up wins over the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson and Travis Browne. His win over Gonzaga in April 2016 earned him a Performance of the Night bonus, while his win over Browne in February 2017 was named Fight of the Night.
Lewis lost via fourth-round TKO to Hunt on Saturday night, snapping the streak. And now, it appears his fighting days are done.
— UFC (@ufc) June 11, 2017