Report: Darren Till vs. Kelvin Gastelum Middleweight Fight Set for UFC 244

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 1:  Kelvin Gastelum interacts with media during the UFC 236 Press Conference inside T-Mobile Arena on March 1, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Darren Till and Kelvin Gastelum have agreed to a fight at the 185-pound middleweight limit, according to ESPN's Brett Okamoto.

UFC confirmed on Instagram that Till vs. Gastelum is on tap for this fall.

The bout represents a step up for Till, who's the No. 6 welterweight in UFC's official rankings.

Till and Gastelum will meet at UFC 244 on Nov. 2 in New York City. It will be the third matchup on the card. Corey Anderson will oppose Johnny Walker, while Derrick Lewis will take on Blagoy Ivanov.

Colin Heron, Till's trainer, told Okamoto in July a jump to the middleweight class was a possibility but carried a level of risk:

"Here's the problem with Darren Till, and it's no secret: He eats s--t. As disciplined as he is in the gym, between fights, he will eat the most amount of s--t you've ever seen in your life. ... The fact of the matter is he will probably be a middleweight, but whether it's now or later, I don't know. My only concern is he goes up to middle(weight), and that will give him the license to eat more. Then we end up with just as big of a cut, but with bigger consequences in the actual fight. So, I would like to get him lean and then make a decision."

Gastelum had weight issues of his own, which led to the cancellation of a scheduled fight against Donald Cerrone at UFC 205 in November 2016. Left with no other choice, he left the welterweight division behind for the middleweight class.

Till is coming off defeats to Tyron Woodley at UFC 228 in September 2018 and Jorge Masvidal at UFC Fight Night 147 in March.

Gastelum fought Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title at UFC 236 in April, losing a unanimous decision. Before that, he knocked out Michael Bisping in the first round at UFC Fight Night 122 and earned a split-decision victory over Ronaldo Souza at UFC 224.

Gastelum represents a difficult introduction for Till to the land of the middleweights, but that allows him to potentially make a big impression in the Big Apple in November.

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