Heated Conversations with Booker T
Episode 183: Derrick “Black Beast” Lewis, Evolution Recap, UFC Talk
Release Date: November 2nd, 2018
Recap by: James Hayes
Booker T and Co-host Brad Gilmore welcome you to the show!
Your man, Booker T is feeling good, but Brad is not. Something has been bothering him. Last week, after the show, Brad felt attacked, disrespected, mocked, offended, and marginalized. He must confront Booker right now before the show goes any further.
“You were attacking me on my picks for UFC in Moncton. I was going against Michael Johnson. I was going with my guy Artem. I have to come out here and say I felt attacked. I felt like I was wronged. I felt like I was hung out to dry, hung up wet to dry, in front of the audience! And then low and behold… you got ‘em all right.”
Booker laughs then says, “Didn’t I tell ya.” Brad says he doesn’t remember the specifics. Booker tells the young man not to feel bad because it happens every week.
Booker praises Anthony Smith again, saying this guy said he could beat Jon Jones and may very well talk himself into that fight. Just like their guest today, Derrick Lewis talked himself into his big title fight against Daniel Cormier.
Derrick Lewis picked up over 600,000 Instagram followers after his post-fight speech with Joe Rogan, where he said his balls were hot. Wanna see it?
Booker says, “Sometimes you gotta talk yourself into a fight, like Chael Sonnen. He was the best. Conor McGregor. He’s talked himself into millions of dollars, millions of dollars. That’s not Titus O’ Neil. Myself. I talked myself, ‘Can you dig it, sucka? Tell me you didn’t just say that.’ I talked myself into making a whole lotta money, man. That’s what the game is truly all about.”
Speaking of talking your way into fights, the guys bring up someone who constantly talks himself out of fights.
“When is Nate Diaz going to fight? He’s been offered fights and he just keeps turning them down. I don’t know if the money’s not right,” Brad wonders. Booker adds, “People are asking the question right now. Has Nate Diaz talked his way out of the UFC?” Brad thinks he might of. Booker continues, “The guy made a whole bunch of money in that Conor McGregor fight. He made enough money to where… And the thing is it’s very easy for us to sit here as armchair quarterbacks and say, ‘He should be doing this, he should be doing that.’ When you make that kind of money after you been getting bumps and bruises all over your head, you say, ‘I’m taking a permanent vacation. I’m talking about indefinite.’ Booker says that could last one year or a few and, “Why get back in there when you know you just came off a huge payoff against Conor McGregor, and now you get in there with a guy they are going to throw you kibbles and bits? After you’ve had filet mignon and lobster it’s hard to go back to tuna and Hamburger Helper.”
Brad counters that you also have to know your worth. “Nate Diaz is not worth $1.5 million for me to see him fight. Nate Diaz is not worth $1 million. He’s not worth $500,000, in my estimation.” Booker disagrees. Brad tells the hard truth and says the only reason Diaz and Khabib got paid what they did was because of Conor. (Facts!) “Conor McGregor is worth the money because he will bring the audience.“
Booker agrees, but also says, “If it’s a title fight. If I’m fighting in the main event, I should be getting paid main event money. I was just looking at this guy named Ed “Short Fuse” Herman. He made his return back to the UFC after being off for a year from a knee injury. He had 28 UFC fights. After getting that one injury and taking off a year, Ed “Short Fuse” Herman had to get a construction job. These guys need to be getting paid more money! Ed said, ‘The money wasn’t that great. You get $12,000 to fight and $12,000 to win. You get three fights a year’ Brad does not disagree that they should get more money but asks Booker if he thinks Nate Diaz can main event if he’s not fighting Conor McGregor. Booker does not answer, so Brad repeats his question. Booker responds, “That’s not my choice to say if…”
Brad laughs and says, “I need to take lessons from you on how to dodge questions.” (Booker is slippery.)
Brad won’t let it go.
(FINALLY, BOOKER ACTUALLY ANSWERS THE QUESTION)
He says, “If the UFC books him in the main event he should be getting paid main event money. I don’t care if you’re on Fight Night, you should be getting paid main event money because you are the draw.”
(Actually, he still didn’t really answer.)
Brad tries again. “Is he a draw?” Booker thinks for a second and finally replies, “I can’t say.” (Ha!)
Brad concedes, “Okay.” Booker shows mercy on Brad, and us, and goes into more detail, “You put him against Tony Ferguson, I want to see that fight. Put him against Khabib, I’d pay to see that fight. A lot of those other guys, I’d pay to see it,” Brad asks, “If you were the promoter would you pay a million and a half dollars?” Booker says it hard to say. Brad agrees that it is hypothetical.
Booker then makes a great point about paying athletes their worth. “I worked for a guy names Eric Bischoff back in the day, the thing was he wanted all the wrestlers to get paid like professional athletes. Like professional football players, so we all had a access to high six-figure close to seven-figure contracts. It wasn’t about not giving the guys a piece of that pie and I think that’s what the UFC misses out on a lot of times. Look at a guy like George Saint Pierre, he didn’t walk away because he couldn’t fight anymore, because he didn’t have the will to go out and do it, he walked away because the money wasn’t right. And when George came back he did what he did and then he walked away again, because the money wasn’t right. Even for a guy like George Saint Pierre, who has all of Canada, and all of the French Canadians behind him. Walk away or you could end up one of those guys fighting just to fight. And end up all beat up and broken down.”
Derrick Lewis Interview
Booker: First and foremost, how you feeling, Big Dogg?
Lewis: I’m feeling really good. I’m ready now. Fight ready. How y’all doing?
Booker: I’m doing good. First thing I have to say is Congratulations. Since last time we had you on the show, it was our first Heated Conversations show, and you said you were just in the game to pay your mortgage off. You weren’t thinking about no title shot. After the big knockout at the end of the fight, you said, ‘I’m looking forward to going home, sitting down and getting my ass some cardio in.’ I was wondering how you were going to do the two at the same time. How do you feel about the quick turnaround as far as going right back into a match of this magnitude, I know it’s an opportunity that you can’t pass up, but how do you feel going in at such a quick rate?
Lewis: I’m feeling really good. I gave some thought to it, they came back with a number I couldn’t turn down, knowing I was still in shape or some-what of shape, I knew it wouldn’t take too long for me to get in fight shape or better shape than I was for my last fight. I couldn’t turn it down because you never know when the opportunity may come back around.
Booker: I sat at home and I said the exact same thing. Opportunity knocks and you got to go out and take it. What have you been doing as far as cardio to get yourself ready for this matchup?
Lewis: Running the stairs over at Buffalo Bayou over on Allen Parkway every other day. Being on the treadmill for at least 45 minutes, pad working, wrestling six rounds. The wrestling probably takes a toll out of me more than the other stuff, besides the stairs. I can hit pads all day long and not really get tired, but the wrestling wears me out.
Booker: So many times you been matched up with guys, I go all the way back to Gabrielle Gonzaga, you were the guy for that guy to go out there and gets a pass, but you seem to pass the test each and every time. Even this last fight, you were counted out and then you came back and put that guy out! Do you think DC and the rest of the world are looking pass you?
Lewis: Yeah, and it’s good if they are. Because they know I’m not a mix martial artist. So, I don’t give a damn about mix martial art. I just care about the paycheck. I go into every fight like I’m the underdog anyway, so I don’t care.
Booker: So, tell me the finish. We were just looking at an interview that DC and Ariel Helwani, and the interview… was…
Brad: It was an hour long and they didn’t even mention your name, Beast, until 15 minutes in. It kind of seems like they’re looking past you, a little bit.
Lewis: I don’t know. If he is, that’s fine.
Booker: He said he’s gonna go out there and grind you out and wrestle you down. My thing is this, I’ve watched you literally immobilize a guy like Francis Ngannou. People thought Francis was going to go out there and knock you out just like he did everybody else. But he felt something that made him a little leery about coming into that fire right there. And I think people are looking past you from a wrestling perspective, as well as a guy who can just defend the takedown and myself personally, I’m looking forward to you going out there and pulling this thing off. I’m looking forward to you going out there and shocking the world because I really think the world is looking pass… I don’t want to hear your victory speech…
Booker: …like it’s gonna be after the fight, Tell me what you would want to say to the world after a big fight like that, if, not if, when you go and pull it out?
Lewis: It’s gone come to me. I’m not… I can’t think… I never…
Brad: He can’t freestyle, Book.
Lewis: I start thinking about finally drinking some a beer, and going home, seeing my wife and getting f***ed.
Lewis: All that adrenaline and I just say crazy stuff after I fight anyway, so I’ll think of something. It’ll be good.
Booker: Brad, you got one more?
Brad: Yeah, I got one more question. When you go out there and beat DC, what do you think, would you like to go one on one with Brock Lesnar, The Beast Incarnate vs The Black Beast?
Lewis: Yeah, of course, if they pay me more money. Whoever gets the highest paycheck.
Booker: Hey man, I know you are training, I know you are on the loop out there as far as doing the rounds and what not, but I just want to thank you for coming on. Go out there and represent H-town. This time when you take your pants off, make sure your underwear is clean, that’s what mama always said. Thank you for giving me a little of your time, go out there and do your thing.
Lewis: Thank you.
Booker predicts DC will press early and consistently. He believes he finishes Derrick Lewis in the early third round. Booker says Derrick will not have enough gas in the tank. I almost forgot that Booker also called Daniel Cormier ugly again. Something about veneers.
Booker was right. Although he got the round wrong. Daniel Cormier choked Derrick Lewis out in the 2nd round at 02:14.
Lewis vs .Ngannou
Lewis vs. Volkov
Before the Final Bell:
Remember when Booker T said Madusa had not wrestled since 1928? Brad does and says she actually looked great in the battle royale.
Maybe she heard Booker’s savage and unprovoked verbal attack because Booker says Madusa posted a picture of herself working out at 2 am in the morning. (I cannot find nor confirm it’s existence.)
Brad brings up a great point about Evolution. Why was Sharmell not invited?
Booker says, “Sharmell should’ve been a part of Evolution. She was a huge part of that women’s locker room. If it wasn’t for her, Melina would’ve killed everyone around there. Sharmell got this thing where she starts moving her hands back and forth, pointing two fingers at you like she got a pistol. There have been many times, back in the day… I’ve been in fights where she has jumped in and wanted to get a little piece of the action.”
Brad says that Last Man Standing match between Lynch and Charlotte was one of the best women matches he’s ever seen. Although, there is a moment when they incorporate a table and it does not break. Booker says that never happened to him because he always made sure that the table already had the screws out.
(Genius. That’s why he’s the 5 Time Champ!)
I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up Ember Moon. The guys (everyone) were rooting for her because she cut her teeth at Reality of Wrestling. Regardless Booker and Brad were proud of her because she stole the show.
Both guys agree it was a great show.
Ratings: 8.0 out of 10
We were treated with a short but timely interview with Derrick Lewis before the biggest fight of his life. He was not the Lewis we are used to seeing after fights. He was a lot more serious. More focused. And Booker had the grace not to ask any questions that could distract or undermine the Black Beast. Booker presented the questions in an optimistic manner, but there was also a sense of an impending and inevitable loss.
The audio during this interview was a little jarring at first. It sounds like they are on a speakerphone. It’s still worth listening to if only to get insight into the mental state of a great fighter on the verge.
The rest of the podcast was the usual fun and engaging camaraderie we always get from these two guys.
Clocking in at 1:23:17, this was a well-paced and breezy episode.
See ya next week!
Based out of New York, James Hayes is an independent filmmaker and podcaster, currently working on a true crime series focused on African American crime. When he needs a break from the seriousness of true crime he turns to pro wrestling. His favorites are Bret Hart, New Day, Samoa Joe, and Becky Lynch, James has 27 years of loving the sport. Here is a link to his film credits https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2026980/, as well as his Twitter @JamesHa34395813.