On Tuesday, Emil Meek revealed via Twitter that he was having “visa issues”, which could potentially put his upcoming welterweight clash with Kamaru Usman in jeopardy.
In a series of text messages sent to MMA Fighting, “Valhalla” elaborated on his initial tweet regarding the visa trouble. According to the Norwegian, UFC’s legal team is trying to secure a waiver that would allow him to obtain the visa quicker.
Meek is scheduled to face Usman at UFC 219 on Dec. 30. If he is not able to secure a waiver to speed up the process, he will be unable to contest the bout, which he described as “the kind of fight I live for” in a recent interview.
“Right now we’re just waiting for the American Embassy to get back to us with a time line,” explained Meek.
“It depends on whether I need a waiver from Washington or not. There’s not much I can do right now but to wait. And I know UFC’s legal team is on top of it, and all I can do is to trust them.”
He continued: “They’re telling me that if everything goes according to plan it takes 10 days to get the visa. But if they need to run through the US government/Washington it could take 3-6 months to get it through.”
Meek underlined that the issue is time rather than not being able to secure the visa for any other reasons.
“Absolutely not,” he replied when asked if he thought he will have any trouble competing in the US in the future. “The question is not if I’m getting the visa or not, the question is only if I can get it in time for the fight.”
Meek went on to describe how frustrated he is with the situation.
“Of course, I’m pretty broken, and I might have understated on my social media how crushed I really am, I just tried to be professional. But it’s a hard thing to accept, this is everything I’ve ever wanted.
“The hours of training I don’t mind, training is fun even though it’s hard as f*ck, but me and my sponsor Betsafe have put alot of money into this fight camp to make it the best one so far.
“I’ve finally got the opportunity to fight a ranked opponent and I’m getting pulled from the fight with no injuries or nothing. As a powerful man, I feel very helpless in this situation.
“It’s not looking very bright for the Usman fight, but the UFC has shown that they want me to fight in the rankings, and that’s what matters in the end. I didn’t die and I’m in great shape, and I’m training hard with my team! I have a bright future!”