Derrick Lewis Isn’t Focusing on Title Shot, Despite Recent Wins
Although Derrick Lewis remains a top five ranked heavyweight, the fighter says he's not thinking about his title shot prospects at UFC Vegas 6 nears.
Derrick Lewis could move his winning streak to three this Saturday at UFC Vegas 6, and take another step towards a title shot. But, according to the ridiculously powerful heavyweight, where he sits in the title shot hunt right now, isn’t his focus.
Lewis says he’s not focusing on the title
The heavyweight contender is booked to fight Aleksei Oleinik in the card’s headliner on Saturday, which is taking place at the Apex Facility in Las Vegas. As the bout approaches, Lewis is coming off back-to-back wins over Blago Ivanov and Ilir Latifi, after dropping fights to Daniel Cormier and Junior dos Santos.
Well, recently Lewis was asked about his title shot prospects, and the 35-year-old reported that’s not his focus right now (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“It really just needs to be a dominant performance just so it can keep me in line because Francis (Ngannou) and the dude (Curtis) Blaydes, they might get a title shot before me.
So we’ll just see how everything goes from there. I’m not really focusing on the title.”
You can kind of understand where Lewis is coming from. Even if he goes out and cruises through Oleinik, Ngannou is ahead of him in the title shot race, due to his awe-inspiring, four fight run of stoppage wins.
Blaydes, meanwhile, has also won four in a row. So, if Daniel Cormier reclaims the heavyweight title, by beating Stipe Miocic on August 15th, and then retires, Ngannou – Blaydes could be on deck for the vacant title (even if Ngannou has beat Blaydes twice).
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Title shots aside, recently it’s looked like Lewis put injuries he was dealing with, like a bad back, behind him. As his latest fight approaches, Lewis relayed that he believes he’s better than ever.
“This fight right here takes me to a new level,” Lewis said. “I’m feeling completely different in fight week than I have in the past. I’m just getting better. I really want to show the fans and show everyone that I have gotten better.”
It will be interesting to see how this fight plays out. Considering the submission skills of Oleinik, and the heavy, heavy hands of Lewis, it would be pretty shocking if it goes the distance.