Ahead of UFC 271, Houston's Derrick Lewis celebrated for being clean

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- He's not only at the top of his sport, but he's gotten there by doing it the right way.

ABC13 was on hand Friday as UFC celebrated Houston's Derrick Lewis for surpassing 50 clean drug tests.

"Typically when news comes out - it's bad news," explained Jeff Novitzky, the UFC Senior vice president for athlete health and safety.

Novitzky flew into Houston from Las Vegas ahead of Saturday's UFC 271 at the Toyota Center to present Lewis with a jacket for 57 clean drug tests over a seven-year span.

"Those tests come at any time," Novitzky added. "They come in the morning. They come at night. They come before a fight. UFC doesn't even know when they're coming."

Lewis, who will fight in the co-main event during Saturday's UFC 271, is the No. 3 ranked heavyweight in UFC. He's recorded more knockouts (13) than any other fighter in UFC history.

"Baseball, for instance - all the guys that have the most power, they all have tainted history in their sports," Lewis noted. "People think they've done something. But me, I've got the most knockouts in UFC and I've never taken anything."

Prior to instituting a drug-testing program in 2015, one managed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, UFC had some serious issues with fighters being suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs.

For Lewis, 50 plus clean tests is validation.

"It goes on all over the world," Derrick said of competing against fighters he's suspected of not being clean. "There's nothing you really could do."

On Friday, Derrick "The Black Beast" Lewis was celebrated for what he didn't do.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.