Former UFC welterweight title challenger Darren Till moves up a division to take on Kelvin Gastelum in the co-headliner of tonight’s UFC 244 event.
Darren Till (17-2-1 MMA) will be returning to the Octagon for the first time since suffering a brutal knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal at March’s UFC event in London.
After starting his career with a perfect record of 17-0-1, ‘The Gorilla’ has since dropped his last two fights. Before being starched by ‘Gamebred’, the English fighter suffered a submission loss to Tyron Woodley in a bout for the promotions coveted welterweight title.
Meanwhile, Kelvin Gastelum (15-4 MMA) will return to the Octagon for the first time since suffering a unanimous decision loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 236 this past April.
‘KG’ has scored victories over Ronaldo Souza, Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy during his time at middleweight.
Round one of the UFC 244 co-main event begins and Kelvin Gastelum comes forward with early pressure. The fighters clinch and Gastelum pushes Till against the cage. ‘KG’ with a nice knee. Darren Till switches the position and then breaks. He throws a jab and then a low kick. Till forces the clinch and lands an elbow. Gastelum switches the position and forces Till against the cage. Kelvin with a knee and then some hammer fists to the thigh of the Liverpool native. Till and Gastelum continue to jockey for position. Finally they break and Till lands a hard low kick. Gastelum attempts to clinch but Till breaks free and lands another two low kicks. Gastelum replies with one of his own. One minute remains in the opening round. Darren Till with another hard low kick. He continues to feast on the legs of the former TUF winner. Gastelum shoots but Till sprawls and then lands a combination. The horn sounds to end round one.
Round two begins and Kelvin Gastelum lands a hard low kick to start. Till fires back with one of his own. He lands a left over the top and then slides out of the pocket. Gastelum sees a right hand just fall short of Darren’s chin. Till continues to utilize a lot of movement. He lands another low kick and then a left hand over the top for good measure. Kelvin replies with a low kick. Till responds with a knee and then forces the clinch. The fighters battle for position and Kelvin lands an elbow. ‘KG’ with an accidental eye poke and we have a brief break. We restart and Darren Till lands another low kick. Gastelum responds with a hard chopping kick of his own. The fighters clinch and Kelvin pushes Darren against the cage. He looks for a single leg takedown but it is not the there. Gastelum with some hammer fists to the thigh. He lands a good knee. Till attempts to break free and does. Gastelum with a good low kick. He needs some more of those. Till misses with a left hook. Kelvin fires off another low kick. One minute remains in round two. Gastelum with a low kick and then another. He shoots for a takedown but Till easily shrugs it off. Darren with a nice jab up with middle. Both men land low kicks. The horn sounds to end round two.
Round three of the UFC 244 co-main event begins and both men get to work quickly exchanging low kicks. He attempts another but Darren Till catches it and cracks him with a left. Gastelum resets and then charges in for a takedown. Once again Till shakes him off. Darren lands another good left. Gastelum responds with a kick to the body. He follows that up with a left hand. Both men land jabs from the pocket. Gastelum with an uppercut. He attempts a kick but Till catches it and forces him to the ground. ‘KG’ bounces right back up and just misses with a left hand. Darren Till continues to circles to he left. Under two minutes remain. Till enters the pocket and lands a knee. He scores a brief takedown and then the fighters get back to trading in the center of the cage. Gastelum shoots in and finally secures a takedown. He looks to take Till’s back. The Englishman scrambles back to his feet and breaks free. Gastelum with a good leg kick and then a left hand. He shoots in and scores another takedown. Till is right back up. Both men swinging punches. The horn sounds to end round three.
Official UFC 244 Result: Darren Till def. Kelvin Gastelum by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 30-27)
Who would you like to see Darren Till fight next following his split decision victory over Kelvin Gastelum at tonight’s UFC 244 event in New York?
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com November 2, 2019