Derrick Lewis Goes Hands-On To Help Houston Flood Victims


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As Derrick Lewis finally settled in after a long day Monday, he had to admit he was tired, but not from preparing for his UFC 216 bout with Fabricio Werdum. Instead, the heavyweight contender was in his truck and out on the road in his hometown of Houston, rescuing troubled neighbors who got hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.

“I didn’t like what I heard on the news,” Lewis said. “They said the police officers are not going to go out and rescue anyone. They’re telling us not to call 911 unless it’s a life or death situation. And I didn’t like hearing that.”

So he jumped into action, leaving his house and putting himself in harm’s way to help others.

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“There was a lot of guys out there, just going back and forth taking turns and going to each house, and rescuing everyone,” he said. “It was close to my house, so I said I’ll help.”

Thankfully, Lewis’ block has been spared from the flooding and it’s “so far, so good” for family members in the area, but he said only a mile away from his house, “it’s pretty bad.”

Despite these conditions, Lewis had no hesitation in getting out there for Houston, his hometown since 1998, when he moved to the city from New Orleans. And whether in Louisiana or Texas, the 32-year-old is no stranger to storms like this.

“I’m used to it,” he said. “Whenever I was younger, living in New Orleans, just about every time it rained, my house flooded. I used to get three or four inches of rain inside my house each and every time.”

Lewis did take precautions when warned that Harvey was closing in, and even though he’s unable to get to the gym because of flooding and street closures, he and his family are prepared to ride the storm out.

“They gave us a few days so I was prepared for it,” he said. “I’ve got plenty of food, plenty of water, a generator and medical supplies. And I had just installed an indoor gym in the house, so I’ve been working out on that.”

So when he’s not out in his truck helping out his fellow Houstonians, he’s got Oct. 7 on his mind.

“It doesn’t affect me,” he said of his prep for the Werdum fight. “I was already training before I got the news. So my weight is pretty good. I really want to get under 260. If I come in at 250-something, it’s gonna be a real entertaining fight.”

But right now, there are more important matters for “The Black Beast,” who has even met some fans in the course of his travels over the last couple days.

“They couldn’t believe I lived that close to them all this time,” he laughed, doing his best to stay positive while doing the same for his neighbors.

“I just love the people. It’s the culture of Houston.”
Sunday, May 27
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