Kelvin Gastelum and Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till are both looking to get themselves back in the win column when they square off in New York City at UFC 244 this weekend.
It’s a fight UFC president Dana White has said he warned Darren Till not to take on his middleweight debut, but the Liverpudlian showed his courage by insisting the match be made. Kelvin Gastelum is looking to show the Gorilla that his decision was pure folly when the two men lock horns at UFC 244 in New York. This is an intriguing bout for a number of reasons, not least that both men are looking to get back on the winning trail.
Fight to finish by KO or TKO
Till was viewed as one of the promotion’s brightest rising stars after seeing off Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, and his reward was to be fast-tracked into a title shot against welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in September of last year. The Merseysider was choked out in that fight before falling to another defeat as he was knocked out in the second round of his fight with Jorge Masvidal in March. Stepping up to middleweight is a big call, but Till has struggled to make weight in the past and was always likely to make the move up to 185 pounds. Now he has no concerns about cutting weight, and the Gorilla looks like an absolute monster judging by some recent photos of him training.
Till to win by KO or TKO
The Englishman could barely have picked a more dangerous opponent though in Gastelum. The Californian fought for the interim middleweight title as recently as April, only losing to new unified kingpin Israel Adesanya on points. Gastelum is a fearsome striker with excellent boxing skills, which he imposes on his opponents through serious pressure. After seeing Till’s last fight against Masvidal, Gastelum could look to grapple here too, negating his deficit in height and reach with short, sharp blows from inside position. After winning his first 10 MMA fights, Gastelum has now lost four of his last nine, not counting his TKO victory over Vitor Belfort which was overturned as a no contest after he tested positive for a marijuana metabolite.
Gastelum to win by KO or TKO
The American remains a serious puncher though, and will test Till’s chin in a big way this weekend. However, the talk around Till is that he’s packing a serious punch himself after bulking up with the extra weight. There’s a good chance of this being a straight boxing match, increasing the chances of a KO or TKO. There’s only three rounds though, and if he can control the distance and keep Gastelum out of range, Till may fancy his chances of picking up a decision victory on the judges’ cards.
Till to win via decision
Darren Till to win the fight
He may be the underdog with all of the top betting sites, but Darren Till is something of an unknown quantity coming into this contest. The Liverpool native is competing at middleweight for the first time, and clearly has incredible belief in his own ability. This is no gentle introduction to the 185-pound ranks, he wants to come in and make a mark right from the off and put himself into title contention as quickly as possible. Kelvin Gastelum will look to inflict a third straight defeat on his opponent, and show the Englishman that he’s made the same mistake twice by not taking his time when climbing the rankings. However, Till looks enormous at this weight, and his size and reach advantage could prove crucial in what’s expected to be a stand-up boxing match. At these odds, he could prove to be excellent value.
John Abrams is a passionate sports fanatic who follows NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAB and Formula 1. A former sports trader, John has an unquestioned thirst for sports knowledge and often fills his time playing fantasy or placing wagers online.
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