Derrick Lewis was forced out of his scheduled Heavyweight showdown against Fabricio Werdum — which was supposed to go down at UFC 216 on Oct. 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada — due to a nagging back injury.
During a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Lewis revealed how it all went down and how he took the news of not being able to fight.
“It was right after the weigh ins. I believe it had something to do with my weight. As soon as I started replenishing myself, drinking, eating, right after that my whole lower body started tightening up more and more,” he added. “I started stretching, soaking in the tub and getting a rub down. Still, it was getting worse and worse,” he said.
“I was crying like a big ass baby because my coach knew how much this fight meant to me. I didn’t want to pull out for nothing but my coaches convinced me it was the best thing to do. They knew I was going through the same problems with Mark Hunt. I didn’t pull out of that fight and it cost me.”
As a result, Walt Harris stepped in on short notice to face Werdum, but eventually got submitted by the jiu-jitsu expert in a little over a minute.
Lewis is set to get an MRI later this week to see the root of the problem, though he strongly believes he is suffering though a bulging disk, the same injury he fought through against Hunt.
Admittedly, Lewis says he’s still in a sort of depressive state, saying he hadn’t cried in years, but couldn’t help shed some tears after missing out on a huge fight and a big payday that would’ve seen him earn around $300,000, according to Lewis.
The good news is, Lewis revealed that no surgery will be required and doesn’t feel like the recurring issues — which he’s been suffering since 2011 — will threaten his combat career.
“Yeah I am disappointed because that was my fight and I really believe I can knock Werdum out. I believe I can win that fight. There ain’t no way I would’ve only lasted a minute and get tapped out. I believe my skill level matches well with his. Now he got another easy fight.”
At the end of the day, Lewis wants everyone to know he isn’t a “bitch” and didn’t pull out of the fight due to fear, and would love to get Werdum down the line, who will make a quick turnaround to face Marcin Tybura on Nov. 19 at UFC Fight Night 121.
“If I can post (results of MRI) to let people know there ain’t no bitch in me, and I didn’t pull out the fight because I was scared or nothing like that, it was a motherfucking injury. I was hurt,” he said.
“If anything, I should’ve pulled out of the Mark Hunt or Travis Browne fights because those guys are more dangerous than motherfucking Werdum. He ain’t even got no knockout power, all he wants to do is wrap his legs around you and let you smell his boot hole,” he concluded.