Derrick Lewis blacked out in weight cut prior to recent loss: ‘I thought I died’



Derrick Lewis says he’s much healthier heading into his UFC 291 matchup with Marcos Rogerio de Lima compared to his previous bouts on his current losing skid, although according to Lewis, nothing was as bad as his most recent fight.

Lewis returns to the octagon on the preliminary card of UFC 291 this Saturday in Salt Lake City. “The Black Beast” has been stopped in three straight, and four of five, but it was his loss to Serghei Spivac in February that really opened his eyes — most notably, because of what he had to deal with the day before the UFC Vegas 68 main event.

“The last fight, I actually passed out just before weigh-ins,” Lewis said at UFC 291 media day. “I blacked out, my coaches had to carry me, make sure I stayed conscious, and I just didn’t have any energy the rest of the week.

“I cut like 25 pounds in three days, not eating, just drinking water — probably just a little something to eat. It was a big eye-opener and it was in the back of my head during the fight. I felt like I actually died, and I was thinking about all of the other fighters who went through that — they blacked out, came back, and couldn’t fight, they didn’t let the fighter fight. Good thing it happened at the [UFC Performance Institute] and they gave me everything I needed to get up and walk out of there. It was a very scary moment.”

The 38-year-old promises there won’t be any issues on the scale this week. He told members of the media on Wednesday that he was already on weight.

Lewis hopes to get back to his winning ways that led him to two shots at the undisputed and interim heavyweight titles over the past five years.

“It really sucks, I know I should’ve beaten that guy,” Lewis said of Spivac. “I had a lot to prove that fight and I just felt like … man, I just let myself down. I just really wanted that back, and right now, I’ve got this perfect opportunity to fight this guy [on Saturday] — I don’t remember his name, but I’m sure I’ll remember his name on Saturday.”

On top of his health issues, Lewis also believes taking pressure off of himself has been a key component for this camp. Lewis plans to show that positive spirit in the octagon on Saturday against de Lima, who’s a winner of two straight and four of his past five.

“I think another problem is feeling like I’ve had something to prove. I’m excited to go in there and just fight,” Lewis explained. “Don’t worry about what anyone says about me, or anything like that, just go out there and have fun.

“I really believe that on Saturday, I’m going to really have fun out there and you’re going to see something different in me, because I’ve been feeling good. I actually stuck to my diet. We’ve been training for 10, 11 weeks now, and I actually stuck to my diet for like one day, and I feel good.”

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