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Dublin: 11°C Saturday 31 October 2020
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Visa obstacle blocks UFC debut for Waterford's Peter Queally on Diaz-McGregor card

Queally says he was in line to face Tim Means at UFC 202.

inpho_00920448 Peter Queally Source: INPHO/Gary Carr

IRISH MMA WELTERWEIGHT Peter Queally says he was on the verge of being handed his UFC debut until visa issues got in the way.

Queally (8-2), a Waterford native who fights out of Straight Blast Gym in Dublin, was seemingly in line to face Tim Means at UFC 202 in Las Vegas a week on Saturday.

Means (25-7-1) has been without an opponent for the past few days after Sean Strickland was forced to withdraw from their scheduled bout due to a knee injury.

Queally offered to step in and take Strickland’s place on a card which will be headlined by his SBG colleague Conor McGregor’s bid for revenge against Nate Diaz, with team-mate Artem Lobov also due to feature on the prelims.

Currently in Las Vegas helping McGregor and Lobov to prepare for their bouts at the T-Mobile Arena in 11 days’ time, Queally felt he was the ideal candidate to take on Means.

“The UFC wanted me for that fight but they wouldn’t have been able to sort the visa, so I’m sick over it,” Queally told The42 this evening. “They asked for my passport yesterday morning so I thought: ‘Yes, this is it.’

“But then a few hours later they came back and said they just wouldn’t have had enough time to arrange the visa because apparently it’s a big rigmarole. I’d have to leave the country, get an appointment and then fly back in again.

“They just said it wasn’t doable in the timeframe they had — about eight days between now and fighter registration — so they just couldn’t do it. It’s a sickener. I really thought I had it. It looked like it was done for a few hours.”

PA-16355954 Tim Means Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Queally, who has won his last three fights, has already competed for a host of top regional promotions, including BAMMA, Cage Warriors, Venator and EFC. Having been considered for this particularly opportunity, he’s hoping to be first in the queue when another one arises.

“I’d like to think so, especially if they think I was good enough to fight Tim Means,” he said. “Tim is an animal. That’s the way I’d look at it anyway.”

According to a report from MMAFighting.com, Means will now face UFC debutant Sabah Homasi instead.

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Paul Dollery

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