UFC 247 Star Reveals Scary ‘Life or Death’ Medical Issue

UFC's Derrick Lewis

Getty UFC's Derrick Lewis almost never got to reveal the flying knees employed at UFC 247.

UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis couldn’t quite grab the UFC heavyweight record for knockouts against Ilir Latifi at UFC 247 in Houston, but it’s a wonder the powerful puncher was able to compete in the fight at all.

Lewis (23-7) defeated Latifi via unanimous decision in the main card opener on Saturday night at the Toyota Center, but when asked by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani Monday if he’d be ready to fight again as soon as March should the opportunity present itself, Lewis revealed a scary medical issue might keep him out of action.

“Yeah, I’ll be available but also, my coach wanted me to get something checked out that came up from my medicals and stuff like that,” Lewis said on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.” “It’s been hindering my training, so we’re really supposed to be keeping it on the down-low, but I’ve got to get it checked out.”

Lewis didn’t tell Helwani what had been ailing him but said the issue was a “life-or-death situation” that was so “serious” that it almost kept him from competing in front of his hometown crowd over the weekend.

“The UFC doctors know what it is, and the doctors here in Houston already know what it is, as well, so it’s just something that’s been going on that I still got to get addressed,” Lewis said.

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Lewis Advised Not To Compete at UFC 247

Lewis told Helwani he was advised not to compete at UFC 247 against Latifi but did so after he received a second opinion from doctors affiliated with the UFC. Moreover, Lewis revealed some details about the issue, though he wouldn’t say specifically what it was.

“It’s something that happens to a lot of athletes that it doesn’t matter if you’re healthy or not,” Lewis said. “It’s something that still can happen to you at a drop of a hat. That’s all I can say.”

Lewis defeated Latifi by decision to secure his standing among the UFC’s top heavyweight contenders. All three judges scored the bout 29-28 for Lewis. While he didn’t get the stoppage win many people expected heading into the fight, the heavyweight did appear to be in some incredible shape on Saturday night.

Lewis, 35, wowed the crowd with several explosive flying knees throughout the three-round fight, and that’s something he had never displayed before in his repertoire.

But the fighter told Helwani he almost didn’t even get to participate in the fight, much less throw those amazing new techniques.

“The doctor had actually told me that he thinks I shouldn’t have taken this last fight,” Lewis said. “He said if the situation like this that he don’t think I should fight, so I got a second opinion from the UFC doctors, and they ran over everything and they were saying it shouldn’t be a problem.”

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