Lewis: Taking Training More Seriously

Derrick Lewis, who competes in the co-main event of UFC Austin against Marcin Tybura, has been a dominating figure since arriving in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

But 2017 saw some moments in his MMA career he’d like to forget. Lewis was finished in the fourth round of his bout with Mark Hunt back in June and then announced retirement from the MMA — a short-lived one. Lewis was scheduled to face Fabricio Werdum back at UFC 216, but he had to pull out on the day of the event due to a back injury.

As reported by MMA Junkie, Lewis claims the back injury has been hindering him for a long time now. But with that issue resolved, Lewis, who has gone 9-3 since coming to the UFC, says he’s been more focused with his training.

“I really haven’t trained the last few years the way I’ve supposed to be training because of my back issue,” Lewis said. “We fixed it, and I trained my ass off for this fight. I still feel like I’ve got a lot left in the tank. I’m taking my training more serious, my diet more serious. I’m just giving myself a chance.

Before I wasn’t giving myself a chance. Doing half-ass training, my coaches would try to push me, and I’m still half-ass training. But this camp right here, I really pushed myself to the limits.

Lewis currently sits No. 7 in the UFC heavyweight rankings, and he knows it might just be must-win when he’s tested against Tybura, who is ranked No. 9. If he’s able to get passed Tybura, Lewis will have to fight his way through the likes of top dogs Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum, as well as young, rising contenders Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes.

“Hopefully [Tybura] doesn’t really try to take me down,” Lewis said. “Hopefully that’s not the game plan that his camp has. If so, that’s going to be a problem for him if he tries to take me down. If I get on top and he tries to take me down, and I reverse him or whatever, that’s just going to be a bad situation for him.

“We can see if we can rise up in the ranks and try to get paid more this year. Hopefully, I can fight four more times this year. Hopefully, I get Ngannou sometime down the line. He said he wanted some time off, but we’ll see. I’ve got to get past Tybura, and hopefully, if I can get past him, I want Fabricio, then Ngannou sometime this year.”

Check out the face-offs for UFC Austin below

Original Story: MMA Junkie

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