Derrick Lewis 'Nervous' To Impress Ronda Rousey: 'She Might Be Watching'

Derrick Lewis is the first to admit he hasn't always taken his training and preparation for fights all that seriously.

Thanks to his massive size and even more ferocious knockout power, Lewis earned many of his biggest wins on sheer physical attributes rather than by spending arduous hours in the gym getting ready for his fights.

Even since arriving in the UFC, Lewis hasn't always been dedicated to his training—but that all changed when he finally got matched up with Francis Ngannou for this Saturday's blockbuster UFC 226 event in Las Vegas.

Lewis says he's been anxiously awaiting the chance to face Ngannou ever since they had an awkward encounter in Croatia back in 2016.

"He introduced himself to me [before the fight] saying that I was his next opponent, and ever since then, I've been watching him," Lewis told FloCombat. "I did [think that was disrespectful] and then after the fight, he called out everybody else but me. It seems like he was avoiding me, but I guess he had bigger fish to fry."

Lewis will finally get his shot at Ngannou on Saturday night, and he's been putting in the work to get ready for this showdown.

"Let's just say I've been training a lot more than I have been," Lewis said. "My past fights, I probably only trained 30 minutes a day. Now I'm training at least two or three hours a day. I'm training more serious. I'm doing everything that I needed to be doing that a mixed martial artist is supposed to be doing. Like trying to eat right 'cause at first, I wasn't eating right at all. I'm trying to eat right. I'm still slipping up here and there." 

Specifically, Lewis is adding a bit more of the "mixed" component to his MMA game. 

"Just working on everything, not just my stand-up," Lewis said. "I'm working on everything, my wrestling, jiu-jitsu, conditioning, everything. I'm taking it more serious."

As one of the bigger heavyweights on the roster, Lewis has enjoyed a love-hate relationship with some of his food choices leading up to fights and he's been engaged in that battle for this matchup as well.

Lewis says he wanted to actually come into the fight a little slimmer than usual, but when he spoke to FloCombat a couple of weeks ago, he was still tipping the scales at more than he initially expected.

"Right now I'm walking around at 280 [pounds]," Lewis said. "My goal was to be in the [2]50's for this fight. All these specials going on, it's hard to pass up."

The good news is Lewis knows exactly what's on the line for his fight against Ngannou, so he's pulling out all the stops to ensure he walks away with a victory.

"If I knock him out, it's a title shot," Lewis said about the aftermath of UFC 226. "If I win by decision, then I should fight Curtis Blaydes."

Lewis also promises to put on his best performance because former women's champion Ronda Rousey might be in the audience after accepting her induction into the UFC Hall of Fame earlier in the week.

Lewis has long expressed his approval of Ms. Rousey, making an impressive performance all the more important to him. 

"I already sent her flowers," Lewis joked about Rousey's Hall of Fame induction. "You're trying to distract me. I've got to fight extra hard, she might go to the fight. She might be watching. Now I'm nervous."

Dear UFC, Sign Joe Giannetti

Simply put, Joe Giannetti should still be in the UFC.

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: PFL 2019, Week 2 Breakdown, More

There may not be a UFC event this weekend, but we do have a card coming to your TV screen (or online app) Thursday. Professional Fighters League (PFL) brings the heat, and we’re talking to two of their combatants: Damon Jackson and Chris Wade.

Valor Fights 59 Recap: Outdoor Brawls, KO's, and One Nasty Broken Toe

Whoever said baseball and MMA don’t mix?

AKA Rite of Passage 7 Recap: Tony Kelley Makes Quick Work of Andy Brossett

Friday night, American Kombat Alliance returned for AKA Rite of Passage 7. One of the southeast’s premiere promotions, the event took place at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana.

Valor Fights 59: Seventeen Kickass Bouts Set For Saturday Night Thriller

Tonight, Valor Fights 59 kicks off at 6pmET airing live and exclusively on FloCombat. The event takes place at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tennessee.

MMA Rumblings: Sacramento Featherweight Banger, Mickey Gall Return, More

Major breaking MMA news is always fun. Smaller details, when compiled, can be just as fun — and there are some juicy nuggets in the wild and wonderful world of MMA right now. 

How Jordan Burroughs Inspired UFC's Desmond Green | Top Turtle MMA


Count Desmond Green as the No. 1 cheerleader for folks going up a weight class. Damaged by trying to cut too much weight early in his own career, Green now actively tries to encourage others to move up to a more comfortable division. Fellow UFC fighter Kurt Holobaugh even cites Green as his primary source of encouragement to go to 155. 

KSW Owner Says US Expansion Is 'For Sure' On His Radar

KSW has quickly become not only one of the biggest promotions in Poland but one of the biggest promotions in the world. Their coliseum event, KSW 39, reportedly drew a record-breaking 56,600 people. Since that show, the company has done shows in their native Poland as well as in Ireland and England. 

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: Top 5 Promotions Outside The UFC, More

What a week it was in matchmaking. UFC 239, 240 and 241 all get crazy, big fights and the Top Turtle MMA Podcast on FloCombat's “Gumby” and Dave are dishing out helpings of their thoughts on all of them. Plus, they’ll dive into this past weekend’s activities with the slam heard 'round the world and more. 

AKA Rite of Passage 7: Former Legacy FC Title Contender Tony Kelley Returns

They’re back! For the first time in seven months, American Kombat Alliance is back! And folks, the Louisiana-based promotion is pulling out all the stops with this one.