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Derrick Lewis says show money, even if he has to show up on Dana White’s doorstep to get it

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Of all the fighters most affected by the UFC’s cancellation of its Fight Night 97 card in Manila, Philippines, heavyweight Derrick Lewis was perhaps the directly taken aback. That’s because he was already in Manila — some 8,500 miles away from his home in Houston — training for his bout with Marcin Tybura.

Lewis, who made it clear he’s not a fan of air travel when he fought Gabriel Gonzaga in Zagreb, Croatia back in April, said he got the call in the middle of the night that he was overseas in vain.

"They woke me out of my sleep," he said during an appearance on The MMA Hour. "I had like missed calls from my manager, and he told me he had bad news. I thought my opponent got hurt or something like that. He broke it down to me and said the whole card got cancelled. And I was just pissed. I said, ‘are they still going to pay me?’ He said he don’t know, that we were going to talk about it this week.

"I said, there ain’t no talking about it, let me call Dana White or somebody to pay me, because I don’t already don’t like flying don’t make me come all the way over here for nothing. So we’re still waiting. I haven’t anything from nobody."

UFC Fight Night 97 was centered around MMA legend B.J. Penn, who was returning to action for the first time in over two years. However, Penn was forced to pull out of his main event fight with Ricardo Lamas due to an injury, and UFC wasn’t able to find a replacement on short notice.

Days later, rather than try and salvage the card as it stood, the UFC cancelled the event — much like UFC 151 and UFC 176. In the aftermath, the UFC said that it would compensate the fighters who were on the card, yet Lewis — who was slated for the co-main event — doesn’t dig the vagueness of the word.

"I don’t like that compensated stuff," he told Ariel Helwani. "I’m thinking they are just going to pay me for all the little taxi cab rides I had to spend and the hotel and probably the plane tickets, and that’s not enough. I cut a lot of weight. I cut like 30 pounds for this fight. I was hurting man, you know, I wanted to eat. I wanted some chicken and I couldn’t eat. I was suffering."

The 31-year old Lewis said he recently signed a new four-fight contract with the UFC, which was one of the reasons he agreed to take on the relatively unknown Tybura after scoring a high-profile win over Roy Nelson. Overall he has scored four wins in a row, including three by TKO or KO, the last one coming against Gonzaga.

Asked if he would be content getting his show money, Lewis said that’s what he was hoping for.

"Hell, just give me my show money, just at least give me half of it. That’s what I want, I’ll be satisfied," he said.

"Either I’m going to get it and either they’re going to hand it to me in my hands, or somebody’s going to have to pay for it."

Lewis said he would call UFC president Dana White himself if he had to.

"Yeah I’ll call him," he said. "I don’t got [a relationship with White], but my manager, I’d make somebody give me his number and either I’ll call him or I’ll show up at his doorstep, either one. Somebody’s going to pay me."