‘Surely you can pull some strings!’ Darren Till pleads with US President Donald Trump to seal his visa for UFC 248
Former UFC title challenger Darren Till has appealed directly to US President Donald Trump to allow him to enter the country after being taunted by headliner Israel Adesanya about his bid to ‘whoop’ Jarrod Cannonier at UFC 248.
In social media messages to Trump, Till asked the head of state to “do me the favour of getting my visa for UFC 248 so I can fight please,” adding alongside a photo of Cannonier: “Get me my visa for UFC 248 so I can whoop this man.”
Till, who was arrested after an incident in the Canary Islands last year and reportedly fined more than $10,000 alongside the group he had traveled with, added hopefully: “Surely you can pull some strings!”
The middleweight revealed a video he had been sent by Adesanya in which the champion laughed: “Hey, am I going to see you on March 7th? Are you coming through? You got visa issues.”
Till has regularly claimed he is ready to step in following the withdrawal of Robert Whittaker, the New Zealand-based former champion, on January 15.
Despite Whittaker dropping out to focus on “other things in my life I need to give priority to,” Till is yet to be confirmed as his replacement with little more than three weeks until fight night in Las Vegas, warning Cannonier: “Just give the UFC some time to sort this out. You have to change your name to killachimp when I beat you as well.”
The Liverpudlian has alluded to minor injuries and ongoing contractual negotiations by his management team, although he appears to be growing increasingly desperate to reach an agreement, as well as publishing an Instagram post suggesting that he is too poor to afford food.
Cannonier knows time is running out to rearrange his fight on the card, telling BT Sport: “They offered me Darren and I said yes.”
“Rumour has it that he’s holding out because he wants to re-sign the contract or [agree] a new contract or renegotiate his contract. I completely understand, so I’m waiting.”
Till, who beat Kelvin Gastelum on a split decision at UFC 244 on November 2, was alleged to have damaged items in a hotel room and stolen a taxi in Tenerife when he was arrested.
Criticizing the scale of the fine he was issued with, Till insisted there had been no criminal damage, telling Fighters Only: “I won’t name no names, but a taxi was not stolen – well, it was stolen and drove around the block a few times.”
“I went [to] the scene. I was somewhere else. I had left the hotel, as well. Then when the police were rounding everyone up, they [saw] me. Straight away, the police was like, ‘Darren Till.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah,’ and I knew what was going on. I was like, ‘It’s all going to fall on me.’
Then they took me and my friends to the cells. It was funny because when you’re in there, you’re meant to be in the cells.
One of the policemen trains jiu-jitsu. He’s like, ‘follow me on Instagram and I’ll bring you some food in there.’ He actually brought me some chicken and rice and he was a nice guy. He kept my time good there.”
Gastelum has also been named as a potential opponent for Cannonier should a fight with Till fail to materialize.