Lewis’ grandfather moved to Houston in 1998, which prompted his mother, uncles and cousins to follow him to the Space City. Over the last 23 years, the heavyweight contender has built connections around the city, becoming a role model by taking care of business in the Octagon and in his community.
After Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston in 2017, Lewis used his massive pick-up truck to rescue people stranded in flooded houses. Lewis’ kindness and willingness to help others is something that caught the eye of rising UFC bantamweight Adrian Yanez.
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“Derrick Lewis is a role model. When the hurricane came, he got in his truck and started helping people out as much as he could. I look at that and I’m happy; these are great people to look up to,” Yanez told UFC.com. “When I think of Houston I think of great hospitality. Houston is one of those places where everyone is friendly…except in traffic [laughs].”
Yanez grew up about 20 minutes south of downtown Houston in the suburbs of La Porte, but frequently visited his family for parties, pickup basketball games and to watch boxing matches. Yanez’s father moved to Houston in 1990 after his stint in the military but decided to plant some roots after meeting Yanez’s mother in 1991.
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As a kid growing up in Houston, Yanez was naturally drawn to the Astros and the Rockets. He loved to see how the athletes always represented the city to the fullest and he intends on doing the same as he launches his way to the top of the UFC bantamweight division.