Interview: Derrick Lewis

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“I am looking to win and I am looking to knock him out.”

Derrick Lewis

Interview by: Eric Hostetter

Derrick Lewis is relatively new upcoming heavyweight fighter in the Houston area. Derrick is a gifted physical specimen has unbelievable athletic ability combined with the strength of a titan. While these two attributes play a big part of Derrick’s game, neither of them match in comparison to the size of his heart. He and the rest of SilverBack MMA, are looking to gain the respect of the rest of their peers here in the Houston MMA scene. His goal is to one day take on local heavyweight UFC veteran Sam Hoger to test how far he has advanced in his burgeoning MMA career. How did you get started in MMA?

Derrick Lewis: I had just got out of prison, one of my friend came up to me told me about Tony and come on out and join his gym (SilverBack MMA). So I did and I liked it. So about 2 months later, I had my first amateur fight against Jay Ross. I thought I was ready, but by the time I was walking up into the ring… My feet and legs were heavy. I was getting all sorts nervous until the cage went shut and that was my wake up call. My ears went deaf, the whole world just went quiet. I couldn’t see anyone besides my opponent. So right then and there, I thought to myself, “It is on!” Did you play/participate in any other sports before getting into MMA?

Derrick: I played football for Kilgore Junior College. I was a defensive end. Has any of your footwork from playing football translated at all into MMA?

Derrick: I really haven’t used any of my football techniques at all in my fights, but I really haven’t had a chance to either since I am still learning. I really do not try to show too much in my fights because I do not want my future opponents to get too much film on me and set up a strategy around me. That is a mistake that all of my opponents have made. After my first fight, I fought Tim Buchanan and he thought I did not have much of a gas tank. He was wrong and I knocked him out in the second round. And then, Nick Mitchell thought that I did not have good take down defense, I’m slow and that I am too big to keep up with him… I knocked him out in the second round too. Then there was a guy up in Colorado (Brian Martinez) thought that he was going to knock me out in the first round. Yeah he was wrong. I knocked him out in the second round. There seems to be a trend going on here.

Derrick: I just love being the underdog. Are you still a big fan of football?

Derrick: Yes I am. I am a huge Houston Texans fan. [points at his Texans tattoo on his arm] Who is your favorite player on the team that you like to watch?

Derrick: Without a doubt, Bernard Pollard. Every day when they show the Texans on the sports news, they are always showing him doing something. Whether it is a hit or him talking to the press he is always talking. Him and Antonio Smith, they talk a lot, but they also both bring it every game day. Bernard is quite a character. Wow, we have gotten on a real big tangent. Let’s back to MMA! What kind of skill sets do you have that you think sets you apart from the rest of the heavyweight division here in Houston?

Derrick: I actually think that how I came up in this world sets me a little apart from everyone else. When I get tired at all in anything, I still fight my heart out. Everything that I have been through has strengthened my heart, my desire. No matter what happens I will give it my all and I won’t lose. That is great. Speaking of the heavyweight division, I’ve always wanted to ask this question to fighter that is actually in it. Would you be for or against splitting the heavyweight division into two divisions, one at 206 lbs to 235 lbs and the other division into 236 lbs to 265 lbs?

Derrick: No, if you are 206 lbs and up, you are a heavyweight fighter. Everyone else is trying to be cruiser weight and wants you to chop on down to 220 lbs… you might as well drop all the way down to 205 lbs. I am personally not going to do that anymore. enough. Here is another set of choices for you. Would you rather have Submission of the Night or Fight of the Night honors?

Derrick: Well, I do know how to do all of the submissions, but I think having FotN would be cool. So I am going to have to go with that. OK, what about Fight of the Night or Knockout of the Night?

Derrick: Knockout of the Night. No question. Do you have personal favorite knockout that you take real particular pride in?

Derrick: Hmm… I would say that my knockout against Brian Martinez in Colorado was by far my favorite knockout. I went in there with 3,000 fans against me and it was for the title. Once I knocked him out, I found out that they had already written me a pay check for the amount of would have gotten if lost. Not to mention that he (Martinez) had already had another title defense fight already lined up before ours event took place. Would you say that you had a lot of fun being the underdog up in Colorado? I mean really, I hate to use a pro-wrestling term here, but you were really a heel up there and not by your own doing.

Derrick: Oh most definitely.

Tony Orozco: When we were leaving the ring, we had to be escorted by security because over 30 people were wanting to bum rush us after the fight. We had to have the security follow us from the ring to the locker room, from the locker room to our car and from our cars to the hotel. This mob wanted a piece of Derrick. Martinez’s wife, or girlfriend, actually had to be restrained from getting into the ring after he was pinned against the ring on the way to being knocked out. That is one of the one worst situations we have ever been put in having a mob of people coming after you. That is insane. They didn’t even know you and they wanted to rip your head off. Let’s move to something a bit more positive. Are there any fighter(s) out there that you really enjoy to watch fight? It can be anyone on the big stage or here at the local level.

Derrick: Anderson Silva. I tell you who I don’t enjoy watching and is one of the most boring fighter out there. Who is that?

Derrick: Artenas Young. His fights are so boring. If someone gave me a free ticket, I would not go watch that man fight. I do not care if he is fighting in the UFC, Strikeforce, where ever. I will not watch him fight. He is one of the most boring fighters out there. Is there someone that you have you sights set on that you would like to fight here in Houston?

Derrick: I would love to have a shot at Sam Hoger. I really do not know much about him, and I don’t care about all of his karate, kicking, and submission I don’t care about all of that. If I could talk to Mick, I would tell him that I want fight Sam Hoger for Houston Legacy Heavyweight Title. Like I said earlier, I want to fight him at heavyweight that is any weight over 206 lbs. I would really love to fight him. It would be one hell of a fight.

Tony: Sam Hoger is really the only fighter that we really have our sights set on. We have a ton of respect for Sam, but we at SilverBack MMA are just looking for respect. Can you tell us your thoughts on your fight against Miguel Guerra?

Derrick: I am not taking him lightly, but I am going into the fight like any other fight. I am looking to win and I am looking to knock him out. you coming into this fight relaxed at all?

Derrick: Yes, I am totally relaxed. Even though one of my teammates, Larry Crowe, beat him (Miguel) in a couple of minutes in the first round, I am going into it as relaxed as possible. Is there anyone you would like to thank or give a shout out to?

Derrick: Well normally I would like to thank my coach (Tony). [laughs]

But seriously I would like to thank my coach, Larry, Dale, all of my teammates here at SilverBack. Special thanks to Drew Ratichek he is a real good friend of mine and all of my sponsors. Well Derrick, thank you for your time and best of luck to you in your match.

Derrick: Thanks and thanks for the interview.

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