Derrick Lewis Says a Win Over Francis Ngannou Should Earn Him a UFC Title Shot

A fight between heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou has been talked about repeatedly by fans. Stylistically, it’s a match-up of two hard-hitting headhunters that almost guarantees a knockout finish.

“Everybody, no matter what I post on my Instagram, it don’t matter what I post, they’ll talk about, ‘man, you should fight Francis. I think you and Francis would be a good fight.’ Everybody’s been saying this for years and I’ve been saying the same thing too. It will be a good fight,” said Lewis during an appearance on The MMA Hour.

On July 7, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Lewis and Ngannou will meet inside the Octagon on the UFC 226 main card. 

Derrick Lewis weigh-in - UFC“Eventually, I knew that it was going to get done, even though he took long enough to respond to the contract that they gave him because they sent the contract out to him a week after my last fight once I told them I’d like to fight him,” said Lewis. 

Ngannou is coming off a decision loss to champion Stipe Miocic in his last outing at UFC 220 in January.  He’s the top-ranked contender in the heavyweight division and Lewis has won seven of his last eight fights.  If Lewis defeats Ngannou in July, he believes that he should be next in line for a title shot.

“I believe so,” he said when asked if the winner should be next in line.  “It makes the most sense. Stipe has really beat just about everybody in the top five anyway, so it wouldn’t really make sense for them to get the next shot besides me or Francis because he’s the number one contender. Everyone else is really not even worthy enough to fight Stipe again.”

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While Lewis believes that a win over Ngannou should earn him a title shot, he also believes that Ngannou is over-hyped and that his biggest wins have been over fighters past their primes.   

“Beating on Francis is really not going to really do too much for me anyway, because the guy got to where he’s at right now on luck,” Lewis said. “He fought (Alistair) Overeem — Overeem doesn’t have a chin. He fought (Andrei) Arlovski — Arlovski doesn’t have a chin. Fight somebody that’s tough. Fight a Mark Hunt, somebody like that who’s real tough. Don’t fight these old guys who are already on the downside of their career.”

UFC 226 is headlined by a heavyweight title fight between Miocic and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.