Peter Queally Explains how Agonisingly Close he was to a UFC Debut

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Yesterday, Irish welterweight Peter ‘The Showstopper’ Queally revealed that he missed out on the chance to make his UFC debut next weekend as he couldn’t secure a visa in time for the event at the T-Mobile Arena.

At one stage, the Waterford man was convinced that he had gotten the nod for a UFC 202 debut against Tim Means, but when he heard the short notice wouldn’t allow him to get a visa in time, the SBG fighter claimed he “thought he was going to get sick.”

“Means needed an opponent and I put myself forward for it,” recalled Queally.

“There were two or three days of not hearing anything. Audie (Attar) was talking to Joe Silva for me. They came back to him on Monday morning and Audie told me to send him on my passport and this, that, and the other.

“I felt as though the fight was on then. UFC wanted to get my visa sorted so they could make the fight. I sent on all of my details and I thought it was done. About three or four hours later they came back and said that they had changed their minds.

“They had looked into it and they said that they wouldn’t have time to get the visa. I thought I was going to get sick when I heard that. It was all done in my head. As far as I’m concerned, they wouldn’t have been asking for my passport and things like that unless they were going to do it.

“It usually takes weeks to get a visa and they would have only had eight days because fighter registration is on Tuesday next week. It would have been too risky to slot me in for the fight and then have to cancel the fight if my visa didn’t come through.”

Despite missing out on a UFC bow, Queally is confident that his will to step up against such a high-level opponent on short notice will help his chances of signing with the promotion in the future:

“It seemed as though they were looking for someone within the roster to face Tim first. Clearly, nobody wanted that fight, and I wanted it. People didn’t want him because they know he’s a hard fight, I was willing to step up and hopefully that will be rewarded.

“If they were about to deem me good enough to fight Tim Means – a guy who is in the higher echelons of his division – surely I’m good enough to be signed. I know that they don’t owe me anything, though. It was close, I didn’t get it, but I’ll get it soon.”

Asked if his time in Las Vegas has whet his appetite for life in the UFC, Queally insisted that he is primed for an Octagon debut.

“Don’t keep asking about my appetite for getting into the UFC, I’m absolutely starving!” he laughed. “You said that to me last time and I don’t think I could be any more hungry now. I’ve had all the appetizers, I’m ready for the main course now.”

@PetesyCarroll

Peter Carroll is Severe MMA's lead feature writer. He has been featured in many top publications and some rubbish ones too. He also writes for the Irish Daily Mirror and Vice's Fightland.