UFC 244: So Darren Till Hasn’t Closed The Book on Welterweight Division Just Yet…
Darren Till is going to make his long discussed, middleweight debut next month at UFC 244. But, the British fighter is evidently still planning to return to the welterweight division down the road.
When it was announced a little while back that Darren Till is going to battle Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244, a lot of people likely concluded the Liverpool fighter’s run at 170 was over for good. But, as it turns out, Till still has his sights set on throwing hands with welterweights once more…
Till’s long discussed move to 185
Talk about Till moving up from welterweight to middleweight began making the rounds quite some time ago. After all, Till was such a massive welterweight, and he encountered well documented issues making 170 for his fight with Stephen Thompson last March. After Till was submitted by now former welterweight champ Tyron Woodley in September, he was then knocked out by Jorge Masvidal this past March. Speculation about a move to 185 peaked as a result, and Till is set to battle Gastelum on November 2nd.
Till’s recent comments about a welterweight return
In advance of UFC 244, Till spoke with media at the UFC Gym in Nottingham, England. While doing so, the 26-year-old made the following proclamation (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I still have unfinished business at welterweight,” Till said. “So let me play out this next year. … I’m not looking past Kelvin, but let me see what happens this year.”
“I’ve still got a few names at welterweight who I want to take out, so it’s not impossible to go back down,” Till said. “I can do it. No one cuts weight like me … no one. So I can do it, to answer it. Really I have unfinished business.”
There you have it. You can understand why Till still has designs on returning to welterweight, as his last couple of bouts at that weight certainly didn’t go well. But, if Till gets by Gastelum next month, you have to wonder if those plans will change.
A win over Gastelum will almost certainly push Till into a bout with another top contender at 185. So, at that juncture, his team may decide Till should bulk up even further, depending on who the opponent is. There’s also a chance, however, that maybe Till isn’t looking to compete at 185 long term? And that he plans to return to 170 even if he does beat Gastelum?
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170 lbs.: Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz
155 lbs.: Kevin Lee vs. Gregor Gillespie
265 lbs.: Blagoy Ivanov vs. Derrick Lewis
205 lbs.: Corey Anderson vs. Johnny Walker
135 lbs.: Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia
185 lbs.: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till
170 lbs.: Vicente Luque vs. Stephen Thompson
185 lbs.: Krzysztof Jotko vs. Edmen Shahbazyan
170 lbs.: Lyman Good vs. Chance Rencountre
145 lbs.: Julio Arce vs. Hakeem Dawodu
265 lbs.: Andrei Arlovski vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
*Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to change.