Categories: UFC

Derrick Lewis Describes Unbearable Pressure Of Fighting Ciryl Gane In Houston: ‘It Was Too Much’

Published by
Ross Markey

Despite recently booking his next Octagon outing for Houston, Texas next month – UFC heavyweight knockout king, Derrick Lewis has claimed that the pressure of fighting interim titleholder, Ciryl Gane was simply too much to handle ahead of August’s UFC 265 headliner.

Lewis, who headlined the Toyota Center event, suffered a hugely one-sided eventual third round ground strikes stoppage loss to the undefeated Frenchman, as his five-fight winning spree was snapped.

The fan favourite would then return last month in the main event of UFC Vegas 45, stopping Chris Daukaus with a relatively straightforward first round knockout of his own, with the victory propelling him to the sole owner of 13 knockout wins in the history of the promotion – a record-setting feat.

Initially eyeing a potential heavyweight title-eliminator against former two-time division kingpin, Stipe Miocic, Lewis has since put pen to paper on a bout agreement to meet with Sydney-born knockout artist, Tai Tuivasa on February 12. at UFC 271 – once again featuring on home soil.

However, recounting his August title affair with Gane, Lewis, noted how nervous he was to compete pre-fight, and how he never wanted to experience the pressure of fighting in that capacity in Houston again.

“I don’t want to experience that ever again,” Derrick Lewis candidly told The MMA Hour host, Ariel Helwani. “It was too much pressure, too much pressure. Too much. To the point where I really was calling people up – let me get some weed of ‘em so I can relax my nerves during fight day. That type of pressure.”

Lewis compared the entire situation to his sentencing to prison for aggravated assault almost 13-years ago, with the event almost coinciding with his release from the penitentiary. 

“(I) never felt it that bad – actually, before court. Before I went to court,” Derrick Lewis explained. “Before they gave me some time to go to prison. That’s the other time I felt so much pressure. But other than that, it was the Houston card. It was pretty bad as well. (UFC 265) was the same day that I got out, the same day I fought. It was, like, 13 years to that day, it was the same day I was released (from prison). So I put a lot pressure on myself as well because it would have made a great story. From the worst times to the best of times.”

Off the back of his win over Daukaus, Lewis managed to seal the #3 rank in the division. And with past-foes, Francis Ngannou, and the above mentioned, Gane slated to unify the heavyweight crowns later this month at UFC 270, Lewis is sure to have a keen eye on proceedings.

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Published by
Ross Markey

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