UFC Heavyweight Lewis Faces Reckless Driving Charge Days Before Big Fight
Derrick Lewis, 38, a prominent UFC heavyweight, found himself in legal trouble just 10 days before his UFC Fight Night 231 main event on Saturday against Jailton Almeida. Lewis was arrested on Wednesday, Oct. 25, in Harris County, Texas, and charged with a misdemeanor for reckless driving.
Known as “The Black Beast,” Lewis holds the record for the most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history. With an MMA record of 27-11 and an 18-9 score in the UFC, Lewis is set to headline the UFC’s return event in São Paulo, Brazil. His opponent, rising heavyweight Almeida, boasts an impressive 19-2 MMA and 5-0 UFC record.
Lewis is accused of driving a staggering 136 mph (219 km/h) in a 50 mph (80 km/h) zone, weaving through traffic in a red Lamborghini, and making unsafe lane changes, according to ABC 13 Houston. The incident occurred on FM 2100, where Lewis allegedly sped past a law enforcement officer. He was later released on a $100 bond, and his court date is scheduled for Dec. 27.
The arrest comes at a crucial time as Lewis is already in Brazil, preparing for his face-off against Almeida. This fight is his first since signing a new multi-fight contract with the UFC after a victorious free agency bout against Marcos Rogerio de Lima in July.
If convicted, Lewis could face up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $200. Neither the promotion nor Lewis has commented on the incident so far.
Despite the legal turmoil, Lewis’s focus remains on the upcoming fight. The case brings up questions regarding the potential impact on athletes’ preparation and mental state ahead of significant events. The UFC and Lewis’s representatives have yet to issue statements on the matter.