He rides the line of “intense athlete” and “bull in a China shop” better than most established fighters, and he’s only two fights in. Richie Lewis was born for the bright lights.
Titan FC’s Richie Lewis is staring down the barrel of his third professional fight. He has two wins, one finish and one post-fight brawl to his name.
The regional circuit offers a lot of stop and go appearances by fighters who have nothing but the UFC in mind. For that reason, carrying contention for opponents isn’t as common in Titan FC as it would be inside the Top Ten UFC rankings, but that didn’t stop Richie Lewis from giving FIGHT PASS subscribers some action after the action when he finished Ernesto Rodriguez at Titan FC 71.
“That dude came to our gym, he’s from Xtreme Couture, and he was a pretty big prospect, man,” Lewis explained. “Undefeated amateur, 2-0 pro, training with UFC guys at Xtreme Couture. The guy comes to our gym, he’s a Cuban kid, Cuban team national wrestler as a kid. Came to our gym because he’s thinking about moving back to Miami and he spars me and it’s my first day back. I whoop his ass and they stop it after the second round and he’s angry. Doesn’t talk to me, left our gym and wants to fight me.”
Lewis made sure that on top of nailing down the victory he also gave Rodriguez an earful for his troubles as the ref pushed him away. The next stop was to go give Rodriguez’s coaches a piece of his mind. He was met with middle fingers but his point was made.
“I was really fed up with him,” Lewis said. “I respect most of my opponents, but if you cross that line with me, there’s no coming back. I see a lot of guys cross lines and shake hands after - no. If you cross a line against me, then it’s f*** you, I hope you lose all your fights and I hope you have a s****y life. I’ll fight you again and troll you for the rest of my life. That’s who I am. There’s no remorse in my heart and I don’t regret a thing that I do.”
If your first introduction to Lewis was at Titan FC 71 you’d likely assume he’s a run-of-the-mill hothead fighter who can’t engage in competition without emotion and can’t separate the sport from the street.
Truth is, Lewis is an NCAA wrestler turned mixed martial artist who prides himself on his brainpower and composure before all else.
“I’m cerebral,” Lewis said. “I follow Alexander the Great. You have to be a philosopher and a warrior. If you want to be a true leader you can’t be either a brute or a philosopher who has never held a sword. You can’t be one or the other. That’s how I live my life. I think hard work is a prerequisite to be in this business. It’s nothing that should be applauded. What should be applauded is the intelligence of an athlete.”
In a sport like MMA, it’s a little easier to allow yourself to become wrapped up in emotion. The striking allows for a lot more opportunity to be wrapped up in the moment and become carried away. To have success in MMA doesn’t always require the utmost composure. In wrestling, there is no striking, no powerful shots to put everything you have into. In wrestling, if you’re getting beat it takes a lot more than one limb to save yourself and that’s right where Lewis feels at home.
You would never suspect the “hothead” at the end of his second fight to be the respectful wrestler who graced the Iowa Central Community College and Rutgers mats for an entire career, but Richie Lewis isn’t your average fighter.
In addition to putting his undefeated record on the line at Titan FC 76 he’s already throwing his name in the hat for the Stalemates Street League 3 main event for wrestling in June.
“My main focus is fighting and it will continue to be my main focus, but if I can go out and wrestle a guy for six minutes while I’m in the best shape of my life, becoming a real man entering into my prime over the next five years, I’m a great wrestler,” Lewis explained. “Why not make a thousand bucks, get some sponsors, get my name out there and wash up some dudes. I don’t think anybody can beat me in wrestling unless their name is Jordan Burroughs or Kyle Dake, to be 100% honest.”
Will Lewis show the world he’s still the same fighter he was last August? Does he have it in him to bounce back and show everybody he’s still the wrestler he introduced to the world right after?
Only time will tell.
Catch Richie Lewis back in action at Titan FC 76, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!