According to Derrick Lewis, the key to willing yourself to victory in the octagon comes at the expense of your mental well-being: "you really got to put yourself in a dark spot," he told TMZ in the moments leading up to his Heavyweight title fight against two-division champion Daniel Cormier this Saturday. The fan favorite has had to fight through more adversity than your average "silver-spoon" athlete, to reach his current stature in the fight game.

Before campaigning in the heavyweight division in various MMA promotions, Derrick Lewis had to endure a three-year prison bid for beating a Ku Klux Klan member that accosted him with a shotgun. "I think about my past and stuff like that," Lewis told TMZ this afternoon, as he recounted the past events that gave him stock, as a strong-willed character, inside and outside of the octagon.

After prison, Derrick Lewis reintegrated himself by taking on the mantle of a tow-truck driver, before betting on his MMA potential. It was all uphill from there. "I'm an optimistic guy. But, I never imagined this was possible," Lewis told TMZ. "If I can do it, anybody can do it. I guarantee you can. I've been having people doubt me all my life. I've been through so much stuff that I hope even my enemies wouldn't have to go through."

Derrick faces Daniel Cormier on a loaded UFC 230 fight card that also includes the return of "All-American" Chris Weidman, the Welterweight that bested MMA legend Anderson Silva on two separate occasions.