It's official. Former UFC welterweight title challenger Darren Till will move to the middleweight division to face Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 224.
The pair will meet at Madison Square Garden on November 2 as the Liverpudlian fighter faces a tough debut bout at 185 pounds against former interim title contender Gastelum, who has recorded wins over Michael Bisping and Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza.
The UFC confirmed the fight via ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Monday night, saying:
"Darren Till is moving up. Till vs. Kelvin Gastelum at middleweight is a done deal for UFC 244 on Nov. 2 in NYC, per sources."
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Till will be looking to bounce back after a second-round knockout courtesy of Jorge Masvidal at UFC London.
Within seconds of the second round starting, Masvidal went out on the offensive and landed a massive left hook on Till's chin, who was knocked clean out from the strike.
The 26-year-old was plagued with weight cutting issues ahead of the Masvidal fight but he is likely to have no problems at 185 pounds.
In an edition of MMAFighting.com's Eurobash podcast, before the UFC 224 bout was confirmed, Till said moving up to the middleweight division could potentially take his mind off such issues.
"It would be more like relaxation for my head because I wouldn't have to worry about the weight." he said.
"The weight cut won't be as big because there would be a few less kilos to cut, which I think would be a big weight off my mind. Nothing is set in stone yet, so we'll see where the end of this year leads me,"
UFC president Dana White admitted that he may have pushed Till "too soon" after he was knocked out by Masvidal.
But once again he's been thrown into the deep end ahead of his middleweight debut against Gastelum on November 2.
"I think Till went back to the drawing board," White told EPSN in June. "He's a young guy. After the win over (Donald Cerrone), we may have pushed him too soon.
"It happens sometimes when a guy gets that much steam behind him. Pump the breaks a little here. Let him get back and work on the things he needs to work on. He's going to be around."
Do you think Till can secure a win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 224?
Let us know in the comments.
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