Dana White ensures Derrick Lewis ‘not going anywhere’ despite UFC slump: ‘I love the guy’



MMA: JAN 14 UFC Vegas 67
Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Derrick Lewis isn’t in danger of losing his UFC spot.

“The Black Beast” suffered his third consecutive loss and fourth in his past five fights on Saturday when he succumbed to a first-round arm-triangle choke at the hands of Serghei Spivac in the main event of UFC Vegas 68. It was a literal flawless victory for Spivac, as the 37-year-old Lewis landed zero strikes on just three attempts en route to one of the most lopsided setbacks of his 26-fight octagon career.

“Listen, I have a lot of respect for Derrick Lewis,” UFC President Dana White told reporters at Saturday’s UFC Vegas 68 post-fight press conference. “I love the guy. And he got manhandled tonight. Spivac looked really good. He made a big statement tonight.”

Spivac’s win keeps Lewis mired in the toughest stretch of his UFC run. Renowned as the promotion’s all-time knockout king, Lewis has long enjoyed success at the top of the heavyweight division, however that chapter of his career may be over — “The Black Beast” has now been stopped in all four of his recent losses, with the last two at the hands of Spivac and Sergei Pavlovich ending in less than a combined four minutes.

White ensured, however, that Saturday’s result will not put Lewis’ position within the promotion in jeopardy.

“Not with me,” White said. “I love the guy. I love him, so he’s not going anywhere.”

As for Spivac, the 28-year-old up-and-comer has quietly emerged as a dark horse in the heavyweight division. “Polar Bear” has won three consecutive fights via stoppage and holds a 6-1 record over his past seven UFC appearances.

Fresh off the biggest win of his career, Spivac reiterated his desire for a highly-ranked opponent next as he pursues a chance to break into UFC title contention.

“We need somebody from top five,” Spivac said.

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