Derrick James Lewis (born February 7, 1985) is an American professional mixed martial artist, currently competing in the heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional competitor since 2010, Lewis has also competed for Bellator MMA and Legacy FC, where he was the heavyweight champion. As of March 16, 2017, he is #6 in official UFC Heavyweight rankings.
Born and raised as one of seven siblings, the second oldest, by a single mother in New Orleans, Louisiana, Lewis was troubled growing up and was often involved in street fighting. In 1999, Lewis and his family relocated to Houston, Texas due to his mother being in an abusive relationship. At the age of 17, Lewis began training in boxing and was preparing for his first amateur fight when the gym unexpectedly shut down. Two weeks after graduating from high school, Lewis was charged with aggravated assault, and was placed on probation. Two years later, while attending Kilgore College on a full scholarship for football, Lewis violated his probation and was sentenced to five years in prison, but ended up serving three and a half. A week after being released, Lewis was introduced to mixed martial arts by a friend and, while working as a tow-truck driver, continued with boxing under the tutelage of George Foreman. However, after dominating in his first professional mixed martial arts fight, Lewis decided to focus on mixed martial arts.
Mixed martial arts career
Lewis began his journey in MMA in late 2009, when he made his debut as an amateur against Jay Ross at LSAMMA on October 16, 2009. He lost the fight via TKO (doctor stoppage). He then faced Tim Buchanan at the United States American Combat Association event on January 30, 2010. He won via TKO.
After turning professional in 2010, Lewis would compile a fight record of 4-1 before signing with Bellator Fighting Championships in May 2010.
Bellator Fighting Championships
Lewis was scheduled to make his promotional debut at Bellator 45 on May 21, 2011 against Brazilian Thiago Santos. However, the bout was cancelled when Santos had to pull out due to an injury.
Lewis faced Tony Johnson at Bellator 46 on June 25, 2011. He lost the bout via unanimous decision.
After leaving Bellator, Lewis compiled a record of 6-0 with one no contest, most notably winning and successfully defending the Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship. He was then signed to the UFC.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Lewis was scheduled to make his promotional debut against Nandor Guelmino at UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann 2 on August 28, 2013. However, the bout was cancelled as Lewis had to pull out due to an injury.
Lewis instead made his debut at UFC on Fox: Werdum vs. Browne on April 19, 2014 against Jack May. He won via TKO in the first round.
In his second fight for the promotion, Lewis faced Guto Inocente at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale on July 6, 2014. He won the fight via KO in the first round.
Lewis faced Matt Mitrione on September 5, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 50. Mitrione quickly defeated Lewis via first-round knockout.
Lewis faced Ruan Potts on February 28, 2015 at UFC 184. He won the fight via TKO in the second round.
Lewis next had a rematch with Shawn Jordan on June 6, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 68. In their first encounter on the regional circuit in 2010, Lewis lost by unanimous decision. Lewis lost the fight via TKO in the second round.
Lewis was expected to face Anthony Hamilton on October 3, 2015 at UFC 192. However, Hamilton was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Viktor Pešta. He won the fight via TKO in the third round.
Lewis faced Damian Grabowski on February 6, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 82. Lewis dominated the fight, winning via TKO in the first round.
Lewis next faced Gabriel Gonzaga on April 10, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 86. He won via KO in the first round. Subsequently, Lewis earned his first Performance of the Night bonus.
Lewis faced Roy Nelson on July 7, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 90, winning by split decision.
Lewis was expected to face Marcin Tybura on October 15, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 97. However, the promotion announced on October 6 that they had cancelled the event entirely.
Lewis faced Shamil Abdurakhimov on December 9, 2016 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 102. After losing the first three rounds, he won the fight by TKO in the fourth round.
Lewis faced Travis Browne on February 19, 2017 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 105. He won the fight via knockout in the second round. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night for their performance.
Lewis is expected to face Mark Hunt on June 11, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 110.
Lewis has a fiancee with whom he has three children: two boys, aged three and five and a 13-year-old daughter.
Championships and accomplishments
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Performance of the Night (One time) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
- Fight of the Night (One time) vs. Travis Browne
- Legacy Fighting Championship
- Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- One successful title defense
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|23 matches||18 wins||4 losses|
|Win||18–4 (1)||Travis Browne||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne||000000002017-02-19-0000February 19, 2017||2||3:12||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||17–4 (1)||Shamil Abdurakhimov||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov||000000002016-12-09-0000December 9, 2016||4||3:43||Albany, New York, United States|
|Win||16–4 (1)||Roy Nelson||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs. Alvarez||000000002016-07-07-0000July 7, 2016||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||15–4 (1)||Gabriel Gonzaga||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Rothwell vs. dos Santos||000000002016-04-10-0000April 10, 2016||1||4:48||Zagreb, Croatia||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||14–4 (1)||Damian Grabowski||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson||000000002016-02-06-0000February 6, 2016||1||2:17||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||13–4 (1)||Viktor Pešta||TKO (punches)||UFC 192||000000002015-10-03-0000October 3, 2015||3||1:15||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Loss||12–4 (1)||Shawn Jordan||TKO (hook kick and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs. Henderson||000000002015-06-06-0000June 6, 2015||2||0:48||New Orleans, Louisiana, United States|
|Win||12–3 (1)||Ruan Potts||TKO (punches)||UFC 184||000000002015-02-28-0000February 28, 2015||2||3:18||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Loss||11–3 (1)||Matt Mitrione||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Mousasi||000000002014-09-05-0000September 5, 2014||1||0:41||Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||11–2 (1)||Guto Inocente||KO (punches)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn Finale||000000002014-07-06-0000July 6, 2014||1||3:30||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||10–2 (1)||Jack May||TKO (punches)||UFC on Fox: Werdum vs. Browne||000000002014-04-19-0000April 19, 2014||1||4:23||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Win||9–2 (1)||Ricky Shivers||TKO (punches)||Legacy FC 18||000000002013-03-01-0000March 1, 2013||3||4:22||Houston, Texas, United States||Defended the Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||8–2 (1)||Jared Rosholt||KO (punches)||Legacy FC 13||000000002012-08-17-0000August 17, 2012||2||2:41||Dallas, Texas, United States||Won the Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||7–2 (1)||Alex Flores||TKO (knee to the body and punches)||RFA 2||000000002012-03-30-0000March 30, 2012||1||2:37||Kearney, Nebraska, United States|
|NC||6–2 (1)||Jeremiah Constant||NC (punches to back of head)||Fight To Win: Paramount Prize Fighting 2012||000000002012-01-27-0000January 27, 2012||1||0:48||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Win||6–2||Rakim Cleveland||TKO (punches)||Legacy FC 9||000000002011-12-16-0000December 16, 2011||3||3:12||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Win||5–2||Jay Peche||TKO (punches)||Immortal Kombat Fighting||000000002011-09-03-0000September 3, 2011||1||0:46||Spring, Texas, United States|
|Loss||4–2||Tony Johnson||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 46||000000002011-06-25-0000June 25, 2011||3||5:00||Hollywood, Florida, United States|
|Win||4–1||Taylor Herbert||TKO (punches)||International Xtreme Fight Association||000000002011-02-26-0000February 26, 2011||1||2:14||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Win||3–1||Rakim Cleveland||Submission (armbar)||Worldwide Gladiator||000000002010-11-12-0000November 12, 2010||2||1:33||Pasadena, Texas, United States|
|Win||2–1||Ryan Martinez||TKO (punches)||Fight to Win/King of Champions: Worlds Collide||000000002010-07-24-0000July 24, 2010||2||1:03||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Loss||1–1||Shawn Jordan||Decision (unanimous)||Cajun Fighting Championships: Full Force||000000002010-06-25-0000June 25, 2010||3||5:00||Lafayette, Louisiana, United States|
|Win||1–0||Nick Mitchell||TKO (punches)||Worldwide Gladiator||000000002010-04-09-0000April 9, 2010||2||1:33||Pasadena, Texas, United States|