Derrick Lewis Reveals ‘Life or Death’ Medical Issue Has Affected Him for More Than a Year

By Tristen Critchfield Feb 11, 2020

Derrick Lewis apparently competed — and won — at UFC 247 with a serious medical issue looming over his head.

“The Black Beast” revealed to Ariel Helwani's MMA Show on Monday that he’s been dealing with a potentially life-threatening condition for more than a year. Lewis defeated Ilir Latifi in a featured heavyweight bout on Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston.

“Oh yeah. It’s really like life or death situation serious,” Lewis said. “I’m dead serious. I’m dead serious. It’s something that happens to a lot of athletes. It doesn’t matter if you’re healthy or not. It’s something that could happen to you at the drop of a hat. That’s all I can say. . .

“The doctor actually had told me that he thinks I shouldn’t have took this last fight. That’s what he said. They said that with the situation like this, he don’t think I should fight. So I got a second opinion from the UFC doctors and they read it over and checked everything out and they said that it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Lewis wouldn’t get into specifics regarding the exact nature of the condition. But it is something that’s been ongoing and can negatively affect his MMA training.

“My coach wants me to get something checked out that came up in my medicals and stuff like that that’s been hindering my training,” Lewis said. “I’m really supposed to be keeping it on the down low. I gotta get it checked out. The UFC doctors know what it is and the doctor’s here in Houston know what it is as well. It’s just something that’s been going on that I’ve got to get addressed.”

Lewis added that the issue briefly popped up against Latifi during their UFC 247 encounter. That still didn’t prevent him from rallying to win a unanimous decision.

“In the first round, it happened and then I was like, okay, I’m just not gonna think about it,” Lewis said. “The situation that’s going on.”


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