Travel, Weight, And Trump Nearly Cost Till 244 Win
Last week was a rough seven days for UFC middleweight Darren Till, as numerous issues nearly cost him his UFC 244 fight against Kelvin Gastelum.
Till, who was making his middleweight debut inside Madison Square Garden, nearly didn’t get into the United States last week due to a Visa issue. The travel issue would be resolved, but it would truncate Till’s time to recover from jetlag, cut weight, and his media obligations, which he had to get out of the way from Thursday into Friday’s weigh-in.
The British fighter barely cleared all of those hurdles to make it to fight night, but with President of the United States, Donald J. Trump inside Madison Square Garden, security was tight and nearly cost Till the chance to be cleared to fight.
“I didn’t have my medical yet, but they were shutting down the USADA office for the president and then they tried to kick me out of the room.” Till recalled to Ariel Helwani on Monday. “They were saying that I couldn’t fight. I refused to leave the room… Kevin Lee had just left, and so did Derrick Lewis, and then I was just sat there.”
“I made sure the doctor came to my room to get my medical because that was just another thing,” he said.
“If anything could have went wrong [this week], it did… I was so focused on what was coming in the fight, I wasn’t paying attention. And then they started talking about maybe me not fighting. I didn’t even cause a fuss. I just thought, ‘Is this fight not meant to happen?'”
Till looking to redeem himself after a knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal in London earlier this year told Helwani that this was the last stand and needed to surpass all of this and severe anxiety to succeed.
“I put so much into it — I put everything I had, even money, I put everything into this. For me, it was a do-or-die fight,” he said.