UFC heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis is set to compete against undefeated Frenchman Ciryl Gane at UFC 265 for the interim heavyweight title.
Ahead of their much-anticipated matchup, Derrick Lewis has voiced his concerns around Gane potentially eye-poking him at some point in the fight.
In a recent interview with MMA journalist Aaron Bronsteter, 'The Black Beast' discussed what he believes is an inevitable foul waiting to happen on Gane's side. He stated that:
"I believe he's going to try and poke me in my eye. The way his stance is, he'll try and poke me coming in. You gotta watch them, I'm telling you he gonna do it. Oh yeah, he's gonna poke me in my eye," said Derrick Lewis.
Catch Lewis' full interview with TSN ahead of UFC 265 below:
Ciryl Gane has previously been guilty of inadvertently eye-poking his opponents, with a particularly bad one landing against Alexander Volkov in his last UFC appearance.
However, whilst Derrick Lewis is not going to lower himself to cheating, he does state that he might bring some new looks into the fight to put Gane off his game.
"I might switch up on him too. Come out southpaw. He's gonna see something that he's never seen before. Hopefully he fights me just like he fought Volkov and the other guy, the black dude that they say look like me... Rozenstruik."
Derrick Lewis' thoughts on Ciryl Gane as an opponent
While Derrick Lewis appears to be primarily concerned with Gane's eye pokes, he also has his own take on the strategies that the Frenchman will employ in this fight.
"I believe that he's going to try to kick and stay away... And try to catch me being aggressive or trying to frustrate me. I could see him trying to do that. And trying to get me to come in and commit something. And he'll try to counter with some crazy kicks or something like that."
The winner of Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane will face off against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
Should Lewis win, it will be a rematch. Lewis was successful when he first met 'The Predator' inside the octagon. However, many fans were disappointed by the first fight, and both Ngannou and Lewis will no doubt look to put on the performance that fans initially assumed would occur.