Just one bout removed from the longest active winning streak in the UFC’s heavyweight division, Derrick Lewis doesn’t appear to be too interested in starting a new streak.
Moments after a fourth-round technical knockout loss to Mark Hunt in the UFC Fight Night 110 headliner in Auckland, New Zealand, on Saturday night, Lewis hinted that the heavyweight duel may very well have been his swan song.
“That’s probably my last fight. I’m getting married next week, and I don’t like to put my family through all this,” Lewis said in a post-fight interview with analyst Brian Stann.
“Most likely this will be my last fight in the UFC.”
Lewis started well enough and outlanded Hunt through the opening two rounds. Although both heavyweights maintained a measured pace, “The Black Beast” began to slow down the stretch. As the bout progressed, his stance became more upright and his movement slowed. After Hunt cracked him with a right two the jaw late in the fourth frame, an exhausted Lewis covered up near the fence and let his opponent unload with punches and elbows until the contest was halted at the 3:51 mark.
While Hunt seemed to have done a number on his foe’s lead leg with kicks, Lewis claimed that an old back injury was partially to blame for his diminished movement.
“It’s my lower back, it’s not my leg. My leg is good,” Lewis said. “It’s just a long time injury, I hurt it back in 2011, and it’s just been hurting all week.”
Prior to facing Hunt, Lewis had established himself as a rising star in the heavyweight division with a six-fight winning streak, the longest among active fighters in the weight class. If the Houston native makes good on his retirement, he will exit the sport at 32 years old with an 18-5 record. For his part, Hunt doesn’t believe that Lewis will be gone for good.
“I don’t think so,” Hunt said on Fox Sports 1. “A fighter’s gonna be a fighter whether in the ring or the Octagon or anywhere else. If it’s in the blood it’s in the blood. I don’t think he’s gonna retire, but it is what it is.”