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Darren Till picked up a much-needed win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244 to snap his losing streak.
The Liverpool fighter had his hand raised for the first time since winning a unanimous decision against Stephen Thompson back in May 2018.
Till stuck to a gameplan and fought intelligently as he eked out a split decision victory in New York City.
He kept Gastelum at bay with stinging leg-kicks and landed at range in the first round. He continued his leg-kick attack in the second round before closing out the bout by fighting on the outside to record his 18th professional victory.
Till, who entered the fight unranked in the middleweight division, takes out the No.4 contender in Gastelum as he aims for a showdown against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
THE GORILLA! @DarrenTill2 with the split decision victory in the hallowed halls of @TheGarden! #UFC244 pic.twitter.com/XOGI6u1w2J
- UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) November 3, 2019
Some compelling stuff from Darren Till post-fight.
"To be totally honestly, tonight I was terrified to get in there, just to do the three rounds. After the first round, I was just like, 'What's wrong with you, Darren?'" #UFC244 pic.twitter.com/KScFx0aaCL
- Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) November 3, 2019
Speaking exclusively to SPORTbible, the 26-year-old expressed his desire to face the Nigerian-born New Zealander at Anfield.
"I just think if we were to break Israel down, I think he's got the whole package," he said. "I think he's got the swagger, knows how to talk, he's an intelligent guy, he's a good-looking guy, he's smart - brilliant fighter, he's a showman. What more do you want from a guy like that?!
"That would be the dream fight - me vs. Israel. I think that would sellout a stadium and obviously look what it would bring to Liverpool. It would just be such a legacy changing fight. I think it'd unbelievable."
OFFICIAL RESULT: Till def. Gastelum via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 27-30).
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