It was an unfortunate set of circumstances occurring in accordance with his February rematch with Ryan Jimmo that caused Lewis to miss so much time.
“I hurt my back at Dick Roufus’ camp training for my Jimmo title fight. I ended up fighting with it anyway. I blew my orbital during the fight,” said Lewis.
“After the fight it took about seven months to get my back on track, as you could say, with physical therapy, chiropractic work, and acupuncture. The eye healed up pretty quick. I was cleared to fight in April for the eye, but my back held me down for seven or eight months.”
Lewis was still feeling the effects of his injury as he began to prepare for his MFC return on Jan. 27 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, against Wilson Gouveia. But once the ball started rolling, Lewis felt a return to form.
“In the beginning of my camp for this fight, my back was a little irritated doing jiu-jitsu or any type of ground work; the next morning I could barely get out of bed,” he said. “I really eased into that stuff, but for everything else, it was great right from the get-go. Even my back after a few weeks started getting better, and my camp was even better after that.”
Lewis feels Gouveia will provide a great return bout, as both fighters share the same penchant for explosive outcomes.
“I’m looking forward to stylistically matching up with him,” said Lewis. “His ground game probably blows me out of the water, but he’s not a wrestler-type fighter, so he’s got to clinch to take me down, and that’s where all the excitement’s going to be.
“It will be one of the most entertaining – if not the most entertaining – fight for sure. Both our styles just don’t bring boredom. This fight is (scheduled to be) a five-round fight, but there’s no way this fight is going five rounds. I don’t think anyone believes that. I doubt it will make it two rounds. Both of us come forward, hit hard and try to finish.”
While winning the MFC’s light heavyweight championship would be a great accomplishment for Lewis, at this stage in his career he’s more concerned with cementing a personal legacy more than anything else.
“The only goal I try to set is how many fights I have in a year,” he said. “Last year was pretty disappointing; I only had the one fight. With my age, I can’t do it for too many years. So I just want to get in as many fights as I can and fight some name guys. Building memories is pretty much what I’m doing.”
Lewis is hoping to make a lasting memory on Jan. 27 at MFC 32 live on HDNet for not only himself, but also the fans that tune in to see the action.
“I want everyone to tune in because it could be over in a couple of minutes or a couple of seconds, so don’t blink.”