Surging UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis appeared recently on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour and discussed who’s next. ‘The Black Beast’ is on six-fight win streak, all but one via KO. The last five were within 54 weeks.
The obvious fight is vs. Francis N’Gannou, who is on a nine-fight win streak, the last five in the UFC.
“Yeah I will fight him, He’s real good,” said Lewis, as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. “This is America, you know they like to see black on black crime, they thrive on that, they love that. I’ll give it to them, yeah.”
However, the fight Lewis wants isn’t N’Gannou, it’s Mark Hunt.
“Me and [N’Gannou] are right close to each other [in the rankings] so I would like to fight someone that’s more of a challenge,” said Lewis. “I believe Mark Hunt is more of a challenge. Me beating Francis is not really going to boost my stats or get me closer to the belt. He hasn’t fought the tops guys yet, just one guy, but he is running through guys.”
The official UFC Top 10 actually breaks down a little differently than Lewis may have assumed.
Champion: Stipe Miocic
1 Fabricio Werdum
2 Cain Velasquez
3 Alistair Overeem
4 Junior Dos Santos
5 Ben Rothwell
6 Francis N’Gannou
7 Derrick Lewis
8 Mark Hunt
9 Andrei Arlovski
10 Travis Browne
So technically, a win over the #6 ranked N’Gannou would do more for the #7 ranked Lewis, than would a win over the #8 ranked Hunt. However, Hunt undoubtedly remains the bigger name. And either fight would be an explosive fan favorite. The UFC may well have big plans for N’Gannou that don’t fit with the decapitating potential of Lewis, so Hunt may be the more likely fight.