Lewis: Pulling from UFC 216 over injury was worse than a loss

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis pulled out of his fight with Fabricio Werdum at UFC 216 hours before the event, due to ongoing back issues. He appeared recently on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour to discuss it. ‘The Black Beast’ said he had experienced back issues since 2011 and that they became acute halfway through the fight with Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 110 in June, leading to his declaration of retirement post-fight. On October 7, it happened before the fight.

“For sure, it was real depressing,” said Lewis, as transcribed by Ryan Harkness for MMA Mania. “I took a big hit in my mental standpoint, it is way worse than a loss. It’s something that I never experienced and I hope it’s something that I never will experience ever again. I’m really in a depression stage right now. I ain’t gonna lie to you, I was really crying. I haven’t cried in years. I was really crying for the first time, my coaches, my wife, everybody was trying to butter me up, but I wasn’t trying to hear that, I was really crying.”

“Right now, anything is a possibility. We’re just waiting on MRIs right now before we can start my treatment because they want to see what’s the issue first. The doctor I talked to on Thursday he said that he’s willing to release me anytime, it’s up to me, but I really want to take the precautions to see what’s really wrong with my back.”

“I don’t want to happen again. Even if it does happen again, I don’t want to go through the same feelings I went through pulling out of the fight and all that, going through that emotional mess.”

Whatever the outcome, Lewis has not plans to quit.

“I’m still going to fight no matter what,” he declared.