UFC 244 results, highlights: Darren Till makes successful 185-pound debut with win over Kelvin Gastelum
Till and Gastelum fought a close three rounds, but it was Till getting the split decision
Darren Till making the jump from welterweight to middleweight only made sense given his frame. But jumping directly into a fight with a top five opponent in Kelvin Gastelum seemed like it could be too high a hurdle as he adjusts to a new weight with bigger men. In the end, Till's decision proved brilliant as he took a split decision over Gastelum at Madison Square Garden in New York to become an immediate player at the top end of the 185-pound division.
The fight was a battle of southpaws, which made for awkward action on the feet. Till (18-2-1) and Gastelum (15-5-1) struggled to get much offense going early in the fight, settling for leg kicks and positional struggling against the cage. Till's leg kicks appeared to land more heavily, marking up Gastelum's legs while his length allowed him to land them from a safe distance. Gastelum battled for takedowns throughout the fight but failed to get Till to the ground for all but a brief moment in Round 3. The ability to fend off Gastelum in the clinch showed Till's strength carried up well to middleweight.
The fight was a difficult one to score with neither man establishing much in the way of dominance in any round. Till seemed to do a little more every round as he slowly edged ahead on points. In the end, the three scorecards were wildly different, with Till winning on two cards but losing every round on the third. The official scorecards read 30-27, 29-28, 27-30.
A fired up Till was happy to prove his doubters wrong after having lost his two most recent fights, a championship fight submission loss to Tyron Woodley and a brutal knockout at the hands of Jorge Masvidal. Till took a moment to rub his victory in for those who had doubted him.
"I proved a lot of f------- doubters wrong and I want you to message me tonight and say something about it," Till said after his win. "F--- yous."
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Click here for complete results from UFC 244 in New York City
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