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UFC Vegas 19 headliner Derrick Lewis details personal experience with Texas arctic blast, reacts to Ted Cruz’s Cancun trip

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Houston native Derrick Lewis knows his hometown has faced plenty of adversity over the past few years. So an arctic blast that left much of the state of Texas without power is just another obstacle to overcome.

Lewis, who fights Curtis Blaydes in the UFC Vegas 19 main event on Saturday, said his family has persevered through the cold snap where freezing temperatures knocked out electricity for much of the state as officials have scrambled to restore services.

“Everything so far so good at the house has been good,” Lewis said during the UFC Vegas 19 media day on Thursday. “The power has been off and on, but my family’s been safe still. We stayed in one room, because there’s no windows in the movie room, so we’ve all just been sleeping in there and making sure the heat stays on 80 just in case the power goes out again. Cause whenever it goes out, it stays off maybe 10 hours and we can still stay warm.

“Everyone at home is doing great. Really no distractions or nothing like that. We’re going to make it through. Any city that’s been through more disasters in the last five years is Houston, so I’m pretty sure we’re going to make it through.”

While the majority of residents in Houston have had power restored as of Thursday, the state is bracing for another round of cold weather expected to hit Texas this weekend.

There has been plenty of blame to go around with severe power outages around the state, and Lewis believes that’s been the bigger problem facing Texas with the ongoing crisis.

“I guess everything what you’re seeing on TV right now,” Lewis explained. “Everyone really stuck at home and depending on the higher power. I guess the governor and the mayors and everything trying to sort out the problems that they have, because right now it really looks like it’s more political than a real disaster.

“I really don’t know. My family is good right now. We’re just going to keep it moving.”

Of course, government officials in Texas have been absorbing a lot of the blame for the power grid problems in the state as a result of the cold weather.

Senator Ted Cruz came under intense criticism this week after he flew to Cancun, Mexico with his family while most of Texas is still trying to heat to their homes. Cruz later issued a statement where he claimed he was only flying to Mexico after his daughters requested the trip, but added he is returning back to Texas on Thursday.

“I actually took a selfie with him at the airport,” Lewis joked when asked about Cruz’s departure from the state. “I told him, ‘Hey, let me come with you.’ He said, ‘No, they’re already giving me hell, so I’m going to come back anyways, I’m going to make it seem like I’m just going to drop my daughter off out there and I’m going to come right back the next day.’ I said all right, that’s cool my bad, I’m not even going to post the picture then.

“He said, ‘I appreciate it ‘Black Beast,’ handle business this weekend.’ I said, ‘All right, cool.’”

Jokes aside, Lewis says most importantly his family is doing OK despite the arduous conditions in the state. He hopes things continue to stabilize in the coming days.

“The power’s been out only twice since I’ve been gone,” Lewis said. “Today, it hasn’t been out so far so everything’s good.”