Lost in the mayhem and maelstrom surrounding the UFC 229 fight between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov was the highly amusing diversion provided by Derrick Lewis.
With a victory in his heavyweight fight Saturday night, Lewis moves on to a fight next month against heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, and a news conference from last summer offered a glimpse into the kind of trash talk and punchlines we might expect as the prefight hype amps up.
“He’s been sizing me up . . . and calling me small,” Cormier said to great laughter before UFC 226 in July. “That’s rude, Derrick!”
Pressed, Lewis confessed that his dislike of Cormier is intensely personal.
“He disrespected that Popeyes chicken on a commercial,” Lewis said.
So don’t expect the kinds of insults that McGregor and Nurmagomedov hurled back and forth, fury that bubbled over last spring, last week and after the fight. The hype for this Nov. 3 bout with Cormier in Madison Square Garden might be more along the lines of the stuff Lewis said after beating Volkov.
Lewis, who will fight Cormier on Nov. 3 in Madison Square Garden, confessed that he broke a finger as he warmed up with his training partner Saturday night. “He landed on it when I was doing a takedown . . . landed right on it,” he told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “So my ring finger on my left hand [is broken]. . . . It’s just swollen like a sausage right now.”
Not that it was a problem. “I really don’t punch with my left hand anyways.”
The McGregor-Nurmagomedov postfight brawl overshadowed somewhat a profane post-fight interview that Lewis gave with Joe Rogan. Lewis had taken off his pants because, he said, “my [man parts] was hot.” Asked about his next opponent, he replied, “I need to sit my black a-- down, do some cardio. [Expletive] what you talking about right now?” He also claimed that President Trump “called me before the fight and told me I have to knock this [expletive] of a Russian out because they are making us look bad with all this [expletive] in the news with Putin and [expletive].”
As for what, exactly, might be next, he told Rogan, “Maybe next week, I’ll come on your show and smoke some weed with you.”
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