Derrick Lewis says he is not retiring after all following loss to Mark Hunt

Derrick Lewis revealed on Monday that he will not be retiring following his loss to Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 110.

UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis had a painful back injury heading into his fight with Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 110, in which he was defeated by Hunt via fourth round knockout.

The extent of the injury has not been revealed as of yet. What has been revealed is that “The Black Beast” will remain in the sport of MMA despite hinting at retirement after suffering the loss. Lewis made his announcement on Monday afternoon while speaking to Ariel Helwani.

“I thought about it a little bit and it’s not going to be my last fight,” Lewis said while appearing on The MMA Hour. “I’m going to try to get in there as soon as I can. We find out Wednesday to see if it’s not too serious. I’m hoping to get back in there by the end of the year.”

Lewis also said in the interview that he thought about retiring before he stepped into the Octagon in Auckland, New Zealand. The biggest reason behind it was the back injury, along with other nagging issues that have plagued Lewis for some time now, which includes broken ribs and a broken foot from his fight with Travis Browne back in February at UFC Fight Night 105. Lewis is also dealing with nerve damage in his right eye from his fourth-round TKO victory over Shamil Abdurahimov back in December.

One of the biggest reasons Lewis wanted to continue on with his career were the remarks from fellow heavyweight Francis Ngannou following his first loss since June 2015. Ngannou said that Hunt beat Lewis “like a baby,” which has inspired Lewis to get back inside the Octagon.

“Yeah, he brought me back,” Lewis said. “If I can, I get him next. If not, that’s fine. I’ll get anyone, it don’t matter.”

Despite the back injury, Lewis was not about to miss out on his opportunity to fight Mark Hunt, a fight he was wanted a long time for. “The Black Beast” felt the best course of action was to get in there, let it fly and see how it plays out.

“Since 2011(the back injury has been there), that was the second time that’s ever happened in a fight. The first time, I still won in the third round, knocked the guy out in the third round. It happened again in the Mark Hunt fight. It was like, ‘damn,’ I couldn’t move at all. The best thing I could do was just stay in there and take it, because I couldn’t move anymore.”

Lewis was heading into UFC Fight Night 110 on a six-fight winning streak and said his retirement statement in the cage was done “in the heat of the moment.” The Houston, Texas native is hoping to have more clarity on his back injury by Wednesday, as he is scheduled to get an MRI. Lewis is hoping the surgery is not needed to ensure a return to the Octagon before 2017 comes to an end.