For the second time in a single year, Mairbek Taisumov is unable to enter the United States.
The talented lightweight was scheduled to face Nik Lentz on the UFC 203 fight card in Cleveland, Ohio, though was eventually removed from the event after visa troubles continued to haunt his career.
Taisumov announced that he was unable to obtain a visa to the USA in time for his scheduled bout, and immediately campaigned for another match-up outside of the UFC’s home country. In an interview with izvestia.ru, he explained that the UFC showed particular interest in having him fight in the United States instead of on Europe shows.
“When I called the embassy, they told me that all is well and you need to wait,” Taisumov said. “Unfortunately it did not work. Even after my last fight in Croatia I told the UFC management that I want my next fight in Germany. But they really wanted to see me in the United States and gave me a hundred percent guarantee regarding the visa.
“It's a shame that all the work that has been done in training was in vain because of bureaucratic problems.”
The Austrian citizen of Chechen origins revealed that the UFC attempted to expedite the visa process, though were unsuccessful.
“I saw how [the UFC] tried to make the fight happen. UFC even hired two lawyers who helped me deal with the situation. They did everything they could. I am grateful to the UFC. What happened is not their fault.”
While Taisumov remains baffled by the bureaucracy he faced, some suggested that his background as a Chechen native and a Muslim did not help his case. While he could do little more than speculate, Taisumov offered to fight Lentz in Chechnya.
“I want to feel the atmosphere in my native land. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has said he wants to hold a UFC tournament in Grozny. If he said so, it means that it will happen sooner or later.”