Derrick Lewis says his new UFC deal is a lucrative one that could bother some people.
After fighting out his contract, it didn’t take long for Lewis (27-11 MMA, 18-9 UFC) to sign a new eight-fight deal with the UFC. His deal was renewed after he scored a 33-second TKO of Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC 291 in July.
The first fight of his new contract comes Saturday when he takes on Jailton Almeida (19-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in the UFC Fight Night 231 headliner at Ginasio Do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo. The event streams on ESPN+.
“I’m more motivated than ever,” Lewis told CBS Sports. “The UFC put their faith in me and gave me another contract. It’s a very lucrative contract and I appreciate them for that. It’s given me more confidence to put all my work in the gym and in the octagon to not make them regret their decision.
“I’m here for the long haul. It’s crazy that in 2017, I wanted to give all this up. I don’t even want to tell people how much I’m making now because I don’t want anyone to get jealous and get mad at the UFC for all they did for me, so I’m not even going to say.”
Lewis’ frame has significantly trimmed down over the years, though his numbers on the scale have stayed consistently between 261.5 and 266 pounds for every fight except his UFC debut in 2014, when he was 256. He credits the more complete training methods he’s recently adopted for that change.
“I guess you could say the training, the running (helps),” Lewis said. “I didn’t use to run back then. I’m running damn near every day. Back then, I was just doing Stairmaster – 30-minute Stairmaster – and just hitting mitts three rounds or five rounds, however many rounds my fight was back then. That’s all I was doing. That’s it. I was doing no jiu-jitsu or nothing like that. But now I’m doing everything.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 231.