Derrick Lewis is a top-10 ranked UFC heavyweight, one of the funniest characters in the sport, and now the world knows that he's also a top-notch human being.
Hurricane Harvey has left Houston and surrounding areas in turmoil. Many people are trapped and forced to deal with extreme flooding while waiting to be rescued. Lewis, a Houston native, has gone out of his way to help those not only his neighborhood but the entire city.
“I’ve always been that type of guy that I like to help people more than I like to help myself,” Lewis told MMAjunkie. “And so I just seized the opportunity. The police, they kept getting on the news and saying that they’re not going to help no one unless it’s a life-or-death situation. Basically, the firefighters said the same thing.”
Lewis is putting action behind those words and has been out in his truck trying to help as many people as he can.
One of the many people he helped happened to be a gentleman that had lost almost all of his possessions, that is except for his Confederate flag.
“I picked up one guy and his family, his wife – he just kept apologizing to me, because all he really had was his clothes, and he wanted to take his Confederate flag,” Lewis said. “He wanted to take that with him, and he just apologized and said, ‘Man, I’ll sit in the back of your truck, man. I don’t want to have my flag inside of your truck like this.’ I said, ‘Man, I’m not worried about that.’
“He’s saying, ‘You never know if you ever need someone, so …’ – I already knew where he was going with it. I just said, ‘Don’t even worry about it. It’s OK. I don’t care about that.’ His wife kept hitting him and saying, ‘You should have just left it.'”
For Lewis and many others around the country, this tragedy is much bigger than a flag or what it represents. The primary goal is to help all people who need assistance, regardless of their personal beliefs, race, religion, etc.
“I don’t care about that,” Lewis said. “I live in Texas. It ain’t nothing new. I’ve been living in the South all my life, and it ain’t nothing I hadn’t seen before or discussed. I don’t care about that type of stuff. I just wanted to help him.”
Lewis's platform as a UFC fighter shines a spotlight on his heroic efforts, but there are many others in Texas and Louisiana doing the same for their neighbors and statesmen.
It's important that these stories get the recognition they deserve and others are inspired to help in any way possible.