Derrick Lewis nearly entered the octagon with COVID-19 in Nov. 2022.

UFC Vegas 65 was originally set to be headlined by colliding Heavyweights, Lewis and Sergey Spivak. That was until roughly an hour or so before the event began, it was revealed by the promotion that Lewis was out of the contest “due to a non-COVID, non-weight cutting illness.”

According to Lewis, however, that wasn’t accurate.

“It was a bummer,” Lewis told Sports Illustrated. “I wanted to fight. I felt like I trained as hard as I could, but I ended up getting COVID. No one knows this but my family and my coaches. I ended up catching COVID the week of the fight.

“I probably had COVID for three weeks after that,” he continued. “It was just hard. But I’m feeling good. I trained even harder for this fight. I’ve heard about the suffering that can come from COVID when it comes to your lungs. So I trained hard, and I’m feeling healthy. I haven’t had any issues.”

Lewis and Spivak are now rebooked and good to go for UFC Vegas 68 this weekend (Sat., Feb. 4, 2023). Since the cancelation, “The Black Beast” has flaunted a slimmer physique and is ready to snap a two-fight losing streak.

“This is the perfect matchup,” Lewis said. “I’m ready for wherever the fight goes. I believe it’s a great fight for me coming off a couple losses. And my birthday is Tuesday. I need a win so I can go out and celebrate my birthday and start the year off right.”

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 68 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 1 a.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 68: “Lewis vs. Spivac” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.