Former welterweight contender Darren Till’s debut in the middleweight division has been confirmed with “The Gorilla” set to face Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden in New York.
Till had been flirting with a move up to 185lb for the last year or so however appeared to be hesitant given his high ranking in the welterweight division.
The Liverpool native has certainly been handed a tough task in his middleweight debut as he looks to bounce back from two defeats in a row at the hands of Tyron Woodley in a title fight, and Jorge Masvidal in London in March.
His opponent Gastelum, who was also a part of the welterweight division before moving up, recently fought for the interim middleweight title, coming up just short against Israel Adesanya.
The 27-year-old has beaten top contenders in the division like Michael Bisping and Jacare Souza and looked very sharp against Adesanya despite defeat.
Till’s move up to middleweight appears to be the most logical move for him given his last two defeats as well as his much documented struggles with weight-cutting in the past.
Speaking before the bout was confirmed, Till had outlined that he hadn’t thought about the move up to welterweight too much and hinted that he may still have a future in the 170lb division.
“I haven’t thought about it much,” Till told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. “Let’s do middle, let’s do welter—let’s do every f*cking weight because at the end of the day I’m really not scared of any man.
“It’s just good to fight all these top-level guys whether they’re in the welterweight division, middleweight or wherever. There’s not one slouch inside that UFC Octagon; they’re all top-level fighters.
“For me, it’s not about a fresh start, it’s about fighting these unbelievable guys and being one of those unbelievable guys, getting all the challenges every fight until the day I retire when I’m 35.”