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Derrick Lewis not backing down from comments on UFC Fight Night 105 opponent Travis Browne

HALIFAX — Derrick Lewis has made it clear he’s not a fan of what Travis Browne represents. However, Lewis said Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 105 showdown with “Hapa” is far from personal.

Lewis (17-4 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who meets Browne (18-5-1 MMA, 9-5-1 UFC) in the FS1-televised heavyweight headline of UFC Fight Night 105 at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, has taken some shots at his opponent’s life outside the octagon in the lead up to the event.

In July 2015, Browne was accused of domestic violence by his ex-girlfriend. A UFC investigation paused his career for several months, but then “inconclusive evidence” found during the investigation led to his reinstatement to competition. Browne moved past the situation, but Lewis said he doesn’t buy the findings of the investigation and has used that belief as encouragement to prepare for the contest.

“I believe it,” Lewis told MMAjunkie. “I believe he did put his hands on his (ex-girlfriend). But he’s looking for some motivation. I can look at that as a type of motivation as well. At the end of the day I’m not fighting to be Superman or anything like that, going like Captain Save-Them. I’m just really doing it for the money. I’m not really going out there trying to save these women.”

Qualms over Browne’s alleged troubled past aside, Lewis, No. 9 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, said he relishes the opportunity to fight a high-level foe who has shared the octagon with some of the best. He’s only got a few of those chances during his 10-fight UFC tenure, so he’s curious to see where his skills stack up against more proven competition.

“I wanted to fight Travis because he’s one of the top heavyweights in the division,” Lewis said. “It’s a tough fight for me, but I still wanted that challenge. I believe fighting a top-10 guy like this is just going to bring a better fighter out of myself.”

The matchup with Browne marks the second consecutive UFC main event for Lewis. “The Black Beast” defeated Shamil Abdurakhimov by fourth-round TKO in December’s UFC Fight Night 102 headliner but was extremely critical of his performance afterward.

Lewis believes he’s shored some of the holes that led to an ugly win and said that will translate against Browne as he goes for his sixth consecutive victory. If he gets the job done, Lewis said he wants another highly ranked heavyweight next. Then, in his ideal scenario, he fights for the title before the end of the year.

“(Next I want) Mark Hunt, (Alistair) Overeem – everyone in the top 10, top five,” Lewis said. “Whatever. Give me the belt after this. That’s my plan. These guys getting popped left and right with steroids and anal beads. We’ll see what happens.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 105, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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