Darren Till overcame all kinds of adversity on Saturday night when he defeated Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244.
Not only did Till defeat a former middleweight title contender on his divisional debut after suffering the first two devastating losses of his MMA career, he also had visa issues which delayed his arrival in New York.
But there was another behind-the-scenes incident which put Till’s fight with Gastelum in jeopardy.
Talking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Till said his bout almost fell apart due to the USADA office needing to shut down to accommodate US President Donald Trump and his security detail on the night of the fight.
“I didn’t have my medical yet,” Till told Helwani per ESPN. “They were shutting down the USADA office for the president and then they tried to kick me out of the room.
“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.”
Faced with the possibility of his fight being cancelled last-minute, Till and the on-site doctors had to come up with an alternative.
“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?'”
Thankfully for the Liverpudlian, the fight did go ahead as he controlled his way to a deserved split decision victory.