This past Saturday on the main card of UFC 291, we saw a battle between two heavyweight finishers. The promotion’s all time knockout king Derrick Lewis (27-11) was back as he took on the surging Marcos Rogerio de Lima (21-9-1).
De Lima had entered the octagon on a five-fight stretch where he had gone 4-1. Meanwhile, Derrick Lewis was on a three-fight losing streak where he had been finished in all three fights. Despite not having any big wins over top contenders, de Lima was the betting favorite entering the fight.
However, The Black Beast put on a performance that put everyone on notice that he wasn’t done just yet. In the opening seconds, Lewis exploded with a flying knee that dropped de Lima. Lewis never let him recover. He started raining down big shots and eventually the fight was stopped giving him his record setting 14th UFC knockout.
What’s next after UFC 291?
After the fight was over and Lewis had a legendary celebration, he was interviewed by Joe Rogan inside the octagon. Lewis revealed that he fought out his contract at UFC 291 and was officially a free agent. The Black Beast made it clear that his preference is to stay with the UFC and not go anywhere else.
However, the pundits immediately started whispering about the PFL. PFL is currently trying to figure out who they will have face Francis Ngannou next year when he makes his MMA debut with the promotion. Whoever fights Ngannou is guaranteed a $2 million payday.
Lewis and Ngannou fought once before in one of the worst fights you’ll ever watch. Lewis was dealing with injuries and Ngannou was fighting like a shell of himself. Derrick Lewis got the win but pretty much everyone lost that fight. So, the question becomes, will Lewis re-sign with the UFC or make the jump?
I personally think he’s going to re-sign. The promotion loves him and he loves where he’s at. On top of that, I can’t see Dana White letting a guy with the star power and following of Derrick Lewis leave to boost interest in the first PFL fight for Francis Ngannou.