Monday, December 5, 2022

Emil Meek Unsure if Visa Issues Will Rule Him Out of UFC 219

With little over a month until his fight with Kamaru Usman at UFC 219, Norwegian fighter Emil Meek is unsure if he will be cleared to fight in the U.S.

While news broke a fortnight ago concerning Meek’s protracted wait for clearance to enter the U.S., the UFC is yet to pull him from the bout with Usman on Dec. 30.

“Valhalla” spoke to Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of the MMA Hour and revealed his agonizing wait for confirmation for the approval of the visa he applied for:

“If I get the visa I ordered, then definitely, yes, for sure. That’s basically what I can tell you,” Meek told Helwani when asked if the fight would happen.

“The thing is, they told me it’s either a 10-day thing or it takes six months, or anything in between it. That’s all. The UFC office just told me to have patience. … The question is not about if I’m getting it or not; it’s just when I get it, if I can get it in time.

“I got a letter from the Nevada Senate and they told me that they understand that time is of the essence,” Meek added, “and they will recommend to prioritize this application and all of that, but it typically would take six months.”

Meek also explained that his visa problems only applied to the United States:

“The funny thing is, the second I got out of the embassy in Norway in Oslo, and they told me that this is a typical case where it could take up to six months to get the visa, I looked up Usman on Instagram and told him,” Meek said. “He goes out and tells everybody that he wants to fight everyone, anywhere, anytime, right? And I texted him, ‘Hey, looks like I got visa issues here. If you want to fight me, then we can move the fight to a different country. We can fight in Canada on Dec. 16.’

“What he told me is, like, ‘Hey, sorry to hear about that. All of my people, all of my guys, they already bought tickets for Vegas.’ And this is two months away, almost two months in advance. I’m asking you, how many guys do you really think bought tickets in Vegas two months in advance, and that’s the reason that he doesn’t want to fight me? I think he’s just looking for a way out. Like, a thousand people? Five-hundred? I’d guess three. Three people out there bought tickets.”