Derrick Lewis wants to clap Alistair Overeem’s cheeks

Derrick Lewis is at once amiable and terrifying. His wrestling is wanting, but his ground escapes are otherworldly. “The Black Beast” characteristically catches his breath by lying under his opponent and taking shots, until he decides it’s the right moment to get out of bed, and then simply sits up. And once he’s back to standing, Lewis holds the UFC record for knockouts in the heavyweight division. That alone has made him a massive fan favorite.

Lewis is also good-humored in the extreme; his social network is a treasure, and he cracks up media figures to a degree perhaps best explained by example.

Thus there was some surprise when at a recent pre-fight media event, Lewis unkindly called out Alistair Overeem, a teammate of Curtis Blaydes, his opponent in the main event of UFC Vegas 19 on Saturday.

“Overeem has been talking a lot of smack,” said Lewis, as transcribed by Farah Hannoun and Ken Hathaway for MMA Junkie. “I don’t talk trash to fighters, calling them out this and that. Whenever I hear someone talking trash to me then I say something back. Other than that, I’m not worrying about what’s going on with UFC fighters. I’m not keeping up with these guys.”

“If Overeem is watching this, man, you still got it. Look in my eyes: You still got it. So do not hang them up yet because I really do want a piece of that. I want to clap them cheeks.”

The vitriol stems from a media day for UFC Vegas 6 in early August 8 of 2020, when Lewis said Overeem had ducked him three times. ‘Reem fired back that Lewis was an easy payday.

Overeem is coming off a recent loss to Alexander Volkov, which leaves #6 in the UFC’s rankings:
1. Francis Ngannou
2. Curtis Blaydes
3. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
4. Derrick Lewis
5. Alexander Volkov
6. Alistair Overeem
7. Ciryl Gane
8. Shamil Abdurakhimov
9. Augusto Sakai
10. Aleksei Oleinik

If Lewis loses on Saturday, that’s the fight to make. And if he wins, given the historical gridlock in the division, Ngannou’s title shot in late March, and Jon Jones waiting for the winner, it might be the fight to make if Lewis wins too.

What do you think UG, you in for Lewis vs. Overeem?

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