Derrick Lewis is one of the most popular figures in the UFC’s Heavyweight division, and good for reason. He combines the incredible punching power and raw athleticism that fans love about the biggest division available, with a personality that you simply can’t help but fall in love with. He’s well known for his hilarious post-fight interviews and was most recently seen declaring “I’m one of the baddest blue belts in Texas” after knocking out BJJ black belt and submission wizard, Aleksei Oleinik, in the second round. It seems as though Lewis is now that little bit closer to being one of the baddest purple belts in Texas after receiving his first stripe. The promotion came from the man who’s worked on his grappling for his last two fights, Renzo Gracie Houston coach Joe Murphy:
View this post on Instagram
I’ve had the privilege to work with @thebeastufc for his last 2 fights and am very proud of the progress he’s made and the effort he’s focused on improving his grappling. We’re just getting started! I have no doubt that this man is a future UFC heavyweight world champion. . . . . #blackbeastufc #ufc #bjj #shoyoroll #SYR #BlackBeast #Batch32 #albinoandpreto #A&P #blackbelt #bluebelt #renzograciehouston #renzogracieriverstone #renzograciehtx #renzogracielakehouston #renzograciethegrove #RGA #mainstreetboxingandmuaythai #TeamMurphy #BaddestBlueBeltInTexas
Of course, we all know that stripes don’t mean much at all but it’s great to see “The Black Beast” progressing through the BJJ ranks so late in his career. It’s genuinely amazing that someone with no Wrestling or Judo background can get 32 fights deep into an MMA career and earn a UFC title shot without progressing past blue belt in BJJ. A lot of the success Derrick Lewis enjoys is down to his striking of course, as he’s one of the most powerful men in a division that’s absolutely stacked with them and enjoys throwing caution to the wind.
Regardless, he’s still beaten a number of high-level grapplers long before his recent fight with Aleksei Oleinik including fellow BJJ black belts Marcin Tybura, Roy Nelson, and Gabriel Gonzaga. His next fight is already booked for November 28th when he will face off against Curtis Blaydes in what looks like a title-eliminator to determine who gets the next shot at Stipe Miocic.