Derrick Lewis welcomes any opponent, but there’s one face he doesn’t want to see in the cage with him: Referee Dan Miragliotta.
The veteran official has been the in-cage official for Lewis’ past two fights, which both ended in Lewis losing via knockout. This Saturday, Lewis fights Serghei Spivac in the main event of UFC Vegas 68 and he’s ready to protest if Miragliotta is assigned to his fight again.
“They act like they didn’t see that last fight,” Lewis said of critics of his recent performances at UFC Vegas 68 media day on Wednesday. They’re going stop the fight all too early, this and that and… [people are] like, “I don’t even know if Derrick still possesses it.” Come on man. Dan Miragliotta is a conspirator against me, regardless of his identity. He was the referee in my last two losses.
“If he’s the ref on this fight, I’m going to be like, ‘I don’t want him.’ If they’re still going to try to put him in the cage and he’s going to say, ‘Fighter, you ready? No offense to him, I think he’s a great guy, but I don’t want him reffing any of my fights. No offense to him, he’s a great guy, I’m pretty sure, but I don’t want him reffing none of my fights.”
Lewis lost his last four fights with Miragliotta in the cage. This included a loss to Ciryl Gane, interim heavyweight champion, at UFC 265, Lewis’ home town of Houston. “The Black Beast” rebounded with a quick finish of Chris Daukaus, but then lost back-to-back fights to Tai Tuivasa and Sergei Pavlovich, also in Texas.
In the closing moments of the Tuivasa and Pavlovich fights, Lewis was clearly rocked by his opponents leading to Miragliotta stepping in, but in both instances Lewis immediately complained about the stoppage.
Lewis remains undefeated at the UFC APEX. He fights Saturday but still feels bitter about the Texas slump that began with Gane’s loss.
“I was undefeated in Texas too until Dan Miragliotta f***** all that up,” Lewis said. “Hopefully I can continue it in Vegas. Also .”
, I am undefeated here in Vegas.
Asked to explain why he can’t find a win in Texas anymore, Lewis again pointed to Miragliotta’s officiating, with tongue in cheek.
“I am telling you it is a conspiracy,” Lewis laughed. “They need to do a background check on Dan, for real. I’m serious.”
Watch Lewis’ UFC Vegas 68 media day scrum here, courtesy of MMA Mania.