Derrick Lewis Willing To Serve As Backup To Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane: ‘I Guess I’ll Be Ready’

    ByRoss Markey

    Dec 22, 2021

    Off the back of his record-setting first round knockout win over Philadelphia native, Chris Daukauas to close out 2021 for the UFC on Saturday, Derrick Lewis appears open to the possibility of serving as a backup to next month’s title unification clash between former-foes, Francis Ngannou, and interim champion, Ciryl Gane. 

    Lewis, who headlined UFC Vegas 45, bounced back to the winner’s enclosure in dramatic fashion, courtesy of an opening round knockout win over the #7 ranked Daukaus – handing the heavyweight striker his first promotional loss.

    The win came as Lewis’ seventeenth under the UFC’s banner, and with the first round knockout, the New Orleans-born finisher became the most prolific knockout artist in the history of the organization – landing his staggering thirteenth knockout triumph. 

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    Remaining open to the possibility of potentially challenging for undisputed spoils in his next outing once again, particularly if the promotion makes an exception to the five round limit for title fights, Lewis claimed he would be ready should the UFC called on him to replace either Ngannou or Gane in January.

    If it’s going to be co-main event – we’ll see,” Lewis told MMA Junkie post-fight. “I guess. We’ll see, man. I guess, man. I just told y’all I don’t want any more of those five rounds. I want the money. We’ll see. I guess I’ll be ready. Somewhat.

    While Lewis remains open to the possibility of featuring next month, he prefers a three round, co-main event bout, however, the flyweight title clash between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo is already on deck for that card.

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    The following month, the Octagon is set to land in Lewis’ hometown of Houston, Texas again for UFC 271. And the outspoken knockout king has his reservations about taking a five round fight, even on home soil.

    If it’s three rounds, then yeah,” Lewis said. “But I’m not main eventing it. I don’t give a damn. They can have someone main event in my city. That’s fine.

    Again, the promotion has already landed a headliner for that Toyota Center card – with a middleweight championship re-run featuring champion, Israel Adesanya, and former titleholder, Robert Whittaker slated.

    Lewis already holds a hugely-forgettable unanimous decision win over heavyweight champion, Ngannou back in July 2018, however, suffered a hugely one-sided third round ground strikes knockout loss to the aforenoted Gane at UFC 265 in August in The Lone Star State.

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