Derrick Lewis has opted against retirement and will lock horns with Fabricio Werdum in a heavyweight clash at UFC 216.
MMAFighting.com was the first to report the booking on Thursday. UFC 216 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Oct. 7 and also includes an interim lightweight championship bout between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee.
Lewis hinted at retirement following a fourth-round technical knockout loss to Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 110 on June 10. “The Black Beast” claimed it was “most likely” his last fight and that he didn’t want to “put my family through all this.” After allowing a back injury that hindered him against Hunt to heal, Lewis had a change of heart. Prior to his most recent defeat, Lewis had established himself as a top heavyweight contender with six straight triumphs in the Octagon.
Werdum has split a pair of bouts since losing the heavyweight crown to Stipe Miocic at UFC 198. “Vai Cavalo” bounced back to take a three-round verdict over Travis Browne at UFC 203 but dropped a majority decision to Alistair Overeem in a trilogy bout on July 8. The 40-year-old Brazilian has won seven of nine bouts during his second UFC tenure.