ByJared Jones, writer at
Writer. Editor. Zombie survival strategist. Follow me on Twitter @JJWritesStuff
Jared Jones

Aside from being one of the hardest-hitting heavyweights in the UFC, Derrick Lewis is also one of the more savvy fighters in the game when it comes to his social media presence.

"The Black Beast" regularly floods his Twitter and Instagram pages with hilarious NSFW memes and videos, and on occasion, even taunts the folks at USADA with jokes about what he might be up to in his extracurricular time (hint: it's something that the Diaz brothers endorse).

So when it was announced last week that Lewis' co-headlining fight against Marcin Tybura had been postponed, along with the rest of the card, you can expect that he was none too pleased about it.

But when a door closes, a window opens, as they say. The fact is, Lewis is currently riding a four fight win streak that includes wins over big names like Gabriel Gonzaga and Roy Nelson, and should be fighting a top-10 opponent instead of a guy whose only UFC win came over a guy he beat four fights ago (all due respect).

So with that in mind, let's take a look at a few more viable options for "The Black Beast" to face next.

4. Stefan Struve

With 14 of his 16 career wins coming by way of skull-shattering knockout, any and all doubts about Lewis' hands should have been put to rest by now. That said, far more questions remain in regards to his ground skills, which the New Orleans native has barely had to showcase through nine UFC fights thus far.

Enter Stefan Struve, a lanky ground specialist who is hot on the heels of a second-round submission over Daniel Omielańczuk at UFC 204. With wins over current champ Stipe Miocic and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva to name a few, he's certainly a higher-profile fight for Lewis than Tybura and would also be the perfect guy to see where his ground game is at -- should he manage to get the fight there, that is.

3. Josh Barnett

Speaking of big names, there aren't many heavyweights currently competing in the sport with a more legendary resume than Josh Barnett. "The Warmaster" is not only a former UFC champion, but a former Pancrase champion, and a PRIDE Grand Prix and Strikeforce Grand Prix finalist. Barnett holds notable victories over everyone from Frank Mir and Pedro Rizzo, to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Jimmy Ambriz.

Although his second UFC tenure has suffered some bumps along the way in the form of losses to Travis Browne and Ben Rothwell, Barnett did score a submission win over fellow former champ Andrei Arlovski in his last Octagon performance.

2. Junior Dos Santos

In terms of top-ranked heavyweights who are both coming off a win and not currently tied up in a fight, you literally cannot do better than Junior Dos Santos. The former champion bounced back from a tough loss to Alistair Overeem last year with a one-sided drubbing of the fifth-ranked Ben Rothwell at Fight Night 86 in April, and holds a win over current champion Stipe Miocic, which makes him more than a viable contender to gauge just how far Lewis can go at heavyweight. It'll be a battle of technical boxing vs. ungodly strong brawling that ends within two rounds, guaranteed.

1. Mark. Freaking. Hunt.

Look, I know I literally just mentioned that Lewis' next opponent should be coming off a win in order to justify the booking, but come on. The fact that Mark Hunt's unanimous-decision loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 hasn't been overturned to a No Contest in light of the WWE star's failed drug test is nothing short of baffling, to the point that Hunt spent his entire summer unloading on the UFC for allowing the fight to happen in the first place.

But what better way is there to help Hunt get over "The Beast Incarnate" than by booking him a fight with Lewis? It's bulletproof logic no matter how you look at it, and the fight itself would almost surely make my proposed bout between Lewis and Dos Santos look like CM Punk vs. Mickey Gall II in terms of pure violence.

Who would you like to see Derrick Lewis face next?


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