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11 Feb, 2020 11:47

Hard-hitting UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis reveals he is dealing with 'life or death' medical issue

Hard-hitting UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis reveals he is dealing with 'life or death' medical issue

One of the most popular fighters in the UFC heavyweight division, Derrick Lewis, says he was advised to not compete at last weekend's UFC 247 card after revealing in an interview that is dealing with a medical dilemma.

Lewis, a former heavyweight title challenger, defeated Sweden's Ilir Latifi at last weekend's UFC event in Houston but as he told Ariel Helwani on ESPN on Monday, he may be dealing with an even bigger fight after revealing that he is in the midst of a potentially serious medical complaint.

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Lewis confirmed speculation that he would be available as a potential back-up for March's gargantuan tussle between concussive strikers Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, but said that this may be complicated by issues which became apparent in a recent medical.

"Yeah, I will be available (to be backup)," Lewis confirmed. "But my coach wants me to get something checked out that came up in my medicals that has been hindering my training. We’re supposed to be keeping it on the down low, but I got to get it checked out.

"The UFC doctors know what it is and the doctors here in Houston know what it is. It’s just something that’s been going on that I got to get addressed. It’s a life-or-death situation."

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Lewis, known for being one of the UFC's more humorous characters, confirmed that he wasn't joking and while he didn't reveal the exact details, he said it is a medical issue which frequently affects athletes.

"It’s something that happens to a lot of athletes, it don’t matter if you’re healthy or not. It’s something that can still happen to you at the drop of a hat," he continued. "It could affect my life."

Lewis also confirmed to Helwani that the issue was bothering him during his fight last weekend.

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"My doctor told me he thinks I shouldn’t have taken this last fight. He said in a situation like this he don’t think I should fight. So I got a second opinion from the UFC doctors and they read everything and checked everything out. So they said it shouldn’t be a problem.

"Yeah I as worried, and then in the first round it happened, so I was like, ‘Okay.’ But I decided not to think about it."