Derrick Lewis shot down fights with Stipe Miocic and Cain Velasquez

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Ahead of Saturday’s fight with Junior dos Santos at UFC on ESPN+ 4, Derrick Lewis says he shot down bouts with Stipe Miocic and Cain Velasquez.

Lewis last fought when he failed to take the heavyweight strap from Daniel Cormier at UFC 230 in November. He told TMZ Sports recently that a short-time after the Cormier fight, the UFC came a knocking and wanted him to make a quick return to fight Stipe Miocic, someone that Lewis has yet to fight, but he wasn’t about to do it in the timeframe the UFC offered.

After that, the UFC called again, this time asking Lewis to step in and face Cain Velasquez. That was another no from “The Black Beast,” before he eventually settled on fighting dos Santos in Wichita.

That might sound like Lewis was picking and choosing his opponent, but he had some good reasons for declining the bouts with Miocic and Velasquez. And now, with a new contract in hand, he steps into his second consecutive heavyweight headlining showdown.

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Tune in Saturday, March 9, for full UFC on ESPN+ 4 live results on The main event features Derrick Lewis vs. Junior dos Santos in a pivotal heavyweight showdown. The first fight is slated to begin at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.