Derrick Lewis Looking To ‘Make’ History Against ‘Boring’ Ciryl Gane At UFC 265

Ahead of his interim heavyweight title homecoming this weekend at UFC 264 in Houston, Texas — Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis has spoken of the pressure he faces to make history for ‘H-Town’ by clinching a promotional title by handing opposite, Ciryl ‘Bon Gamin’ Gane his first professional defeat.

Headlining the Toyota Centre event, Lewis, who was widely expected to challenge Francis Ngannou for the undisputed heavyweight championship — until the promotion elected to introduce an interim title, which would be contested against French standout, Gane.

In the midst of an eye-catching four-fight winning spree, Lewis, a one-time undisputed title challenger, is also the most prolific knockout artist in the history of the UFC’s heavyweight division.

Earning an expected title challenge against Ngannou, which ultimately led to an interim title tilt opposite Gane, the 36-year-old stopped the streaking Elevation Fight Team wrestler, Curtis Blaydes with a thunderous one-punch knockout at UFC Vegas 19 in February.

Speaking at yesterday evening’s press conference ahead of UFC 265 — Lewis admitted that he was feeling the pressure of delivering a title for Houston, at the second time of trying — as well as on home soil to boot.

Of course, it’s a little pressure because Houston never had a heavyweight champion before so I wanna be the first one,” Lewis said. “I wanna make history and it gotta go down.

As far as predictions go, Lewis referred to his knack for knocking opponents out inside the Octagon; “It don’t matter who it is,” Lewis said. “They all gonna end the same way, looking up at them lights.

Scoring a stunning 20 separate knockout wins across his professional career, Lewis has bested the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson, Shamil Abdurakhimov, Travis Browne, Marcin Tybura, the above-mentioned, Ngannou, Alexader Volkov, Blagoy Ivanov, Ilir Latifi, and Aleksei Oleinik.

In his close victory over Latifi in his last visit to the Toyota Centre back in February of last year, Lewis explained that he felt some pressure on that occasion as well. And ahead of his battle with Gane, admitted that the same pressure is at the forefront of his mind.

I feel like I deal with the pressure every fight because no one believes in me,” Lewis told ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto. “I always wanna go out there and prove everyone wrong. It’s just me about being in my hometown, that’s where I feel the most pressure because I’m here. I fought here last year and I felt pressure, but not as much as I do right now.


Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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