Derrick Lewis: Facts, MMA Career, Net Worth, Wife & Kids

If you are into UFC and other fighting championships, then you have indeed come across the name Derrick Lewis. His fans love the powerful MMA for not just his fighting style but also for his persona. Know his early life, his struggles, and his personal life in detail.

Some Facts about Derrick Lewis

Nickname

Derrick Lewis is called “The Black Beast” for his physique and power.

Rank

Lewis currently ranks 3rd in the official UFC Heavyweight rankings.

Age

Derrick Lewis was born on 7th February 1985. Therefore, currently, he is thirty six years old.

Height and Weight

Derrick Lewis stands 6ft 3in or .191 meters tall. Lewis currently weighs 265 lbs or 120 Kg.

The Tragic Early Life Of MMA Derrick Lewis

Derrick’s fans love him for his honest views and his self-deprecating humor. But the fans got a rare glimpse of his early life when he finally opened up about his struggles in an interview.

Lewis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a child, he didn’t have the privilege of receiving the love and care of a father. Derrick Lewis is not a single child. He has six other siblings and is the second oldest of all. He was single handedly raised by his mother.

Derrick Lewis

Derrick Lewis and his Abusive Stepfather

Derrick Lewis as a child, had been through a lot more than any other child of his age. His stepfather was abusive and would regularly engage in fistfights with his mom.

The haunting memories of those nights torment him to date. In a press interview, Lewis revealed he felt weak and helpless when he saw his stepdad abusing his mother every day. It is indeed his childhood experiences that add the fuel in him to fight his opponent.

Lewis is brutally honest with his opinions. Previously he had asked his fans and the entire UFC division to be ashamed if he ever won a championship.

 According to Lewis, he has no skills or techniques. He does not care if people don’t remember him in this sport. He fights for the paycheque to take good care of his kids and give them a better childhood. In addition, he says that he can never fight his opponent knowing he has done nothing wrong. Therefore, before a fight, he channels all the rage he felt against his stepfather and starts hitting his opponent.

His Troublesome Teen life

In 1998, Derrick Lewis’ family left Houston and moved to texas to save themselves from the abuse. However, the horror and fear from his childhood days stayed with him. As a young teen, he was regularly engaged in street fights to vent his frustration. There was no one to guide him, no one to understand his situation. Then finally, in order to control his aggression, he joined a gym. He started practicing boxing almost on a regular basis.

When he was 17 years old, he started preparing for his first amateur fight after boxing for three months. Unfortunately, the gym he was practicing at suddenly shut down. And now, he was left with no place to channel his anger.

Derrick Lewis and His Arrest

At the age of 19, Derrick got romantically involved with a 36 year old divorced woman. Things got really messy between them, and soon, her ex-husband came to know about the ordeal.

The woman’s ex-husband didn’t take the relationship in a good way and reached Lewis’ neighborhood with a shotgun. Luckily, Lewis was not at home when the man arrived. He was returning from a party with some of his friends when he noticed the man near his house. He then asked his friend to drive back to the neighborhood, thinking the man would follow him. And he was right. With the help of his friends, he blocked the man into a dead end. Derrick then reached the man’s truck to have a conversation when the man reached for his gun.

Derrick Lewis

There was a sudden turn of events. Derrick, in order to defend himself, started punching the man.

Unfortunately, the incident went from bad to worse, and the man lost his eyesight in one eye. Four days later, the police arrested Derrick from his school for aggravated assault and serious bodily injury. The incident happened just two weeks after his graduation from high school. Moreover, not long before the incident, he had also received a scholarship to play football at Kilgore Community College. Things didn’t turn out the way he wanted, and subsequently, he received probation for two years.

But ultimately, Derrick ended up violating the probation. Back then, he didn’t have transportation to get to all of his classes. In addition, he didn’t even have the money he was required to pay on his probation period. And hence he had to spend three and half years in prison.

How Did Prison Life Changed Derrick Lewis?

Derrick Lewis had spent three and half years in the infamous Sugar Land Central Unit prison. It was here in this prison where he started reflecting on his life. While he was growing up, he didn’t have a father figure to guide him. Therefore, the discipline and guidance he received in prison were life changing. It is not very surprising that to Derrick Lewis, prison was the best thing that happened to him.

How Was Derrick Lewis introduced to MMA?

Just a week after getting out of prison, he was introduced to MMA by a friend. Back then, he worked as a tow-truck driver for AAA to support his family and boxed the remaining time.

Derrick, at the very beginning of his boxing career, showed a lot of promise. Legendary boxer George Foreman immediately noticed him. Foreman acted as his guide or, in Derrick’s words, “acts like my Grandfather.” Derrick trained with Foreman at his gym and kept boxing under his guidance for a while. Later on, Foreman also bought Lewis a car so that he could practice and continue his boxing career.

However, Lewis slowly started developing an interest in MMA after training at the Silverback Fight Club. Soon, he booked a fight and won his first match by completely dominating his opponent. And that’s when he decided he was going to pursue an MMA career over boxing.

Derrick Lewis and His Early MMA career

Lewis has had a long career in MMA. He started his journey in 2009 as an amateur fighter. Lewis made his debut on 16th October 2009 at LAMMA, and he was up against Jay Ross. Unfortunately, he lost the fight via TKO but did not give up his enthusiasm over the first defeat. During his second match on 30th January 2010, he defeated Tim Buchanan at the United States American Combat Association.

Lewis fought quite a number of times after that and compiled a 4-1 fight record. Subsequently, The Bellator Fighting Championships signed him in May 2010. From there, Derrick Lewis started his new journey as an MMA fighter.

Derrick Lewis and Bellator Fighting Championships

Lewis had a short career at the Bellator Fighting Championships before signing with UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). In the beginning, he was supposed to have his promotional match against Brazilian MMA Thiago Santos. However, due to an injury, the game got canceled. Then finally, on 25th June 2011, Lewis played his first match against Tony Johnson at Bellator 46. Although he lost his first Bellator match, he made a compelling record of 6-0.

Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship

Derrick Lewis won his first Legacy FC title after defeating American MMA Jared Rosholt. He defeated him via KO punches at Legacy FC 13. Before Jared’s defeat against Lewis, he was the reigning champ with a 4-1 undefeated record. However, his record was crushed by “The Black Beast” after winning his first FC heavyweight championship on 17th August 2012. Again, the very next year, on 1st March 2013, Derrick won the championship for the second time. He was up against Rick Shivers and successfully retained his title with a 9-2 win.

His most notable win until then was defending the Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship. After his praise-worthy performance at the Bellator Fighting Championships, the UFC finally signed Lewis.

Derrick Lewis and Ultimate Fighting Championships

Derrick was already dominating his previous fight championships, yet he got his main share of fame from UFC. He made his promotional debut on 19th April 2014 against Jack May. His debut was a success as Lewis won via TKO in the first round itself. Derrick was supposed to make his promotional debut against Nandor Guelmino, but unfortunately, it did not happen due to an injury. In his second promotional fight, Lewis fought Brazilian MMA Guto Inocente. Subsequently, he also won his second promotional fight via a KO (punches).

Derrick Lewis faced his first defeat (11-3) in the UFC against American MMA Matt Mitrione. The two men were incredibly strong. Thus it was no surprise that the game had ended quickly. Lewis had specially requested this match and even called out his opponent before the match. Thus losing it so quickly didn’t end up well for him. Along with the loss, he also didn’t get time to show his skills.

In the following four matches, Lewis gave a decent performance against MMA’s like Damian Grabowski. He won three matches and lost one against Shawn Jordan.

The following few UFC matches defined a lot of Lewis’s career and made him famous.

Derrick Lewis Vs. Gabriel Gonzaga – the first “Performance of The Night”

Lewis and Brazilian boxer and MMA fighter Gabriel Gonzaga had an intense fight on 10th April 2016. Derrick Lewis, with his usual fighting style, began attacking first. However, Gonzaga didn’t back off, and being a jiu-jitsu expert, took control of the fight. Things seemed pretty heated up for a while, but towards the end, Gonzaga was no longer able to fight back. The fight lasted exactly 4 minutes 44 seconds, with Gonzaga’s jaw crashing on the floor in the end. Therefore, Derrick Lewis won the fight (15-4) via a KO and even won his first “performance of the night.”

Derrick Lewis Vs. Travis Browne – The controversial domestic violence allegations

People love as well as hate Derrick Lewis for his sharp comments and remarks. Travis Browne had some domestic violence allegations against him in 2015. The UFC was making investigations about it for some time. However, before the match between Lewis and Browne, Lewis made numerous attacking remarks about the allegations. In addition, he made some lewd comments on Brown’s fiance Ronda Rousey. Lewis alleged that Browne “Beat” his former spouse even though there was not enough evidence.

Derrick Lewis Vs. Travis Browne

Eventually, Derrick won the match (18-4) by second round knockout and also won the “Fight of the night.” However, the controversy did not end there. Soon after Lewis lost his following match against New Zealand MMA Mark Hunt, Browne made a public statement. In an Instagram post, Brown wrote his family life was affected by false accusations of his domestic violence. He also said he thinks Lewis should “retire” from fighting. Derrick Lewis originally said that those comments originated because his mother faced violence at his stepfather’s hands. Lewis also received backlash from MMA Francis Ngannou, who called him a “baby.”

Derrick Lewis Vs. Francis Ngannou – The Strangest UFC match

The showdown between Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou is considered one of the strangest matches in the history of UFC. Although Lewis claimed victory in the end with a unanimous decision, the fight remained a matter of discussion. Firstly, according to the media, this was a grudge match as Ngannou called Lewis a “baby” for his comments on Travis Browne. However, when the fight started, it almost seemed like there was no action.

Derrick Lewis Vs. Francis Ngannou

According to Fightmetric, Lewis landed 20 strikes, while on the other hand, Ngannou made only 11 strikes. Subsequently, Lewis won the fight via scores of 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28 with hardly any kind of effort. Lewis was recovering from a back injury, so he was focused on countering the attacks. But unfortunately, there was nothing to counter as Ngannou didn’t even attempt to attack. The fight, on the whole, defeated the purpose of UFC.

Derrick Lewis Vs. Alexander Volkov – The Hail Mary Knockout

This fight at UFC 299 is memorable for Derrick Lewis for his unbelievable comeback towards the end of the fight. From the very beginning of the fight, former Bellator champion Volkov was dominating Lewis. The crowd almost presumed that Volkov was going to take the win, but things changed in the last 11 seconds. Derrick Lewis made a Hail Mary Knock Out finish in the last few remaining seconds and ended up winning (21-5). In addition, he also got “the performance of the night” accolade. Till date this match is considered Lewis’ most memorable knockout finish in a fight.

Derrick Lewis Vs. Daniel Cormier – The First UFC Heavyweight Championship

Derrick Lewis’ win against Alexander Volkov helped him to secure a position for his first UFC heavyweight championship. The fight for the UFC Heavyweight Championship took place on 3rd November 2018. Derrick Lewis was definitely perceived as the underdog in the event at Madison Square Garden. However, the game ended quickly.

American MMA Daniel Cormier barely gave Lewis any chance to attack. He completely dominated the fight and ended the deal with a rear-naked choke. Needless to say, the game only lasted for 2 minutes 14 seconds, with Lewis submitting for the first time as a pro. Derrick Lewis’ first chance to win the UFC heavyweight title ended as a failure.

Derrick Lewis Vs. Junior Dos Santos – The disappointing loss

The match with Junior dos Santos was Derrick Lewis’ first fight since his crushing loss against Daniel Cormier. The UFC Fight Night took place on 9th March 2019. The fight began with a lot of power display. Both dos Santos and the black beast did not hold back.

However, things changed with a spinning kick from Junior Dos Santos. Lewis was barely able to recover in that round after that kick. In the second round, Dos Santos continued with his power punches, and Lewis, on the other hand, focussed on the defense. The fight continued for some time, but Lewis was unable to do any damage. Ultimately the fight ended after just 1 minute and 58 seconds, with Lewis losing via TKO ( punches). Derrick Lewis received the “Fight of the Night” for his spectacular performance even after his loss.

Derrick Lewis Vs. Curtis Blaydes – The Comeback Performance

After a long time, Derrick Lewis received “The performance of the night” on 20th February 2021. The fight was not an easy one. Curtis Blaydes started off the first round with dominance. He was quicker and showed better skills. However, things started to change in the second round. Blaydes became too aggressive with his game when Derrick Lewis grabbed the opportunity and took him down with a knockout. Lewis won the fight (25-7) and ended Blaydes’ ongoing winning streak.

Derrick Lewis Vs. Ciryl Gane – The first interim UFC heavyweight Championship

Derrick Lewis Vs. Ciryl Gane

Lewis had his showdown against Ciryl Gane on 7th August 2021. He fought for the interim UFC Heavyweight Championship and went through a total of 3 rounds to decide the winner. The fight was worth the watch in every possible way. From the very first round, Ciryl attacked, but The Black Beast countered it with his infamous right hand. Things got even more intense in the third round, and Lewis got “ground-and-pound” until the referee stopped the fight. It lasted for 4 minutes 11 seconds, and after the loss, Derrick Lewis dropped to 15-6 in UFC.

What’s Next For Derrick Lewis?

After his loss against Ciryl Gane, we know Lewis can no longer contest for the interim championship. However, he will still fight against some of the big names in the industry. Some of the possible rematches will be against Alexander Volkov, Augusto Sakai, and Stipe Miocic.

Derrick Lewis & His Net Worth

Derrick Lewis has a net worth of 1.5 million dollars. He gains most of his wealth from his successful MMA career and brand endorsements. Now we can only expect his net worth to rise as he is still climbing the stairs of success.

Derrick Lewis & His Fighting Style

Derrick Lewis is mostly dependent on his power when it comes to fighting. Specialists often consider him a classic heavyweight due to his sturdy physique and knockout power. Dan Hary, one of the best analytical minds in MMA, described Lewis as a “Wrecking Ball.” People often praise him for the unbelievable power he holds in his right hand. Personally, for Lewis, his preference is “swangin’ and banging” which in other words is stand-up fighting. Lewis has also mastered the art of boxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

His Current Personal life

Derrick Lewis and April Davis, are they married?

Derrick Lewis and April Davis

Yes! Derrick Lewis is married to his long term girlfriend, April Davis. The couple tied the knot on 17th June 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Nonetheless, they had been dating for a long time before that. Derrick is extremely private about his personal life. However, sometimes here and there, he spills some info about his wife and private life in some interviews.

How did Derrick Meet April Davis?

Derrick Lewis met his now-wife via his cousin brother Kendrick. Lewis must have really liked Miss April as the day after their first conversation he showed up at her front door. From there, the relationship started developing. And now for the last 4 years they are happily married.

Derrick and April share a very special relationship. They have been through a lot together. She was there when Derrick was spending his time in jail. She was also there during other dark times. Therefore Derrick calls April his “ride or die.”

Does Derrick Lewis have kids?

Yes! Derrick has two sons and one daughter with his wife. The names of his children are not known as he is not very public about such matters.

Did you know Derrick Lewis saved almost 100 people during the 2017 hurricane Harvey? 

In an interview with ESPN sports, Lewis revealed his experience. He was watching the news when the unfortunate hurricane incident happened. Lewis heard the officers were unable to reach the location, so he went out to help as many people as he could. He used his lifted truck and saved around a hundred people from the flood waters. Lewis drove continuously from 8 am to 10 pm in the flooded areas. Of course, his wife was worried about his safety. However, he did not care as long as he could save the people.

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