Dana White Praises ‘Huge Superstar’ Derrick Lewis Following UFC 271 KO Defeat
In recent months, Derrick Lewis has suffered two of the most frustrating mixed martial arts career losses in his hometown.
Last August at UFC 265, “The Black Beast” suffered a technical knockout knockout in the third round by Cyril Gain in an intermediate heavyweight title race at the Toyota Center in Houston. And on Saturday, with an opportunity for redemption at the same venue, Lewis was knocked out by a devastating Tai Tuivasa elbow in the second round of their co-headlining match at UFC 271.
Despite these setbacks, UFC President Dana White praised Lewis at Saturday’s post-match press conference.
“It’s not always short. I mean, until tonight he was the No. 3 guy in the world, which is a big deal. “He has the most knockouts in heavyweight history,” White said. “He went against a guy tonight who is in a five-fight knockout streak. He fought with a 29-year-old tonight. Derrick Lewis is a bad kid, man. It was a lot of fun playing in our UFC heavyweight division. And obviously very dear to the city of Houston and to the whole world. “He is a very big star for us.”
Earlier in his career, Lewis did not necessarily look like someone who would claim UFC gold on two different occasions. Over time, however, the 37-year-old became one of the most fan-friendly and affordable products on offer.
“If you were looking at Derrick Lewis coming to the UFC, I do not know if people would expect him to do what he has accomplished here,” White said. “He has become a huge superstar and he has done some very nice things.
“He has made some money and made a good living for himself. He is a good man. “He is one of those guys who, when bad things happen, is out there helping people.” “He’s a big, scary dude, but there’s a big heart in there. We really like it and we will see what happens next “.