UFC middleweight contender Darren Till has revealed how President Donald Trump had a big influence on his fight this past weekend.
Till was able to defeat Kelvin Gastelum in the co-main event of UFC 244 on Saturday night, solidifying his position as one of the top dogs in the 185-pound division. It marked his first win since defeating Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC Liverpool last year, which gives you a pretty good idea of just how important this triumph was for “The Gorilla”.
As many fans will know President Trump was indeed in attendance at Madison Square Garden at the weekend, but what they may not know is how involved he was with Till’s ongoing visa issues during fight week.
During his appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, Till had the following to say on the matter.
“I spoke to Dana and I’m getting it sorted right now,” Till said (via MMA Mania). “He spoke with me and the team and they are doing everything they can to sort this problem out and ironing it out I appreciate that from them because they didn’t have to go to the lengths they did,” he said.
“I think Trump got involved. I’m not so sure, but I think he got a call. I’m not so sure. It’s just madness, Trump speaking my name! I don’t even know what to say.”
On the flip side, though, the arrival of Trump caused Till some issues as he prepared to undergo his medical.
“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 said. “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, 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?’”
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/6/2019.