Kelvin Gastelum vs Darren Till
Darren Till is coming back from a KO loss against Jorge Masvidal as that was probably his last fight in the Welterweight division. It was his second loss in the row as previously he lost to Tyron Woodley in the title match for the Welterweight championship belt. Kelvin Gastelum’s last fight was for the Interim Middleweight championship belt against now undisputed Middleweight king Israel Adesanya. Their fight was a complete war, where both fighters showed a lot of heart and ultimately Adesanya raise the belt above his head. Gastelum, now established Middleweight, will be looking to bounce back and possibly call for a title shot, if he wins impressively.
Darren Till was a very big Welterweight. Sometimes it looked he was fighting in a wrong division. He was a lot longer in reach and taller than most of his opponents. Till is a very good striker, probably one of the best in the division. He is able to pressure his opponents with jabs and powerful straights from his left hand and he is also able to fight backwards, controlling his distance between him and the opponent. His style of fighting is rather strange, as he likes to distract his opponent with constant movements of his lead hand. He is moving his right hand constantly up and down, so it very difficult to predict what comes next. He is very powerful. Every punch, kick, knee, elbow he throws with a lot of power, so he is able to drop anyone within seconds. His ground game is a bit not really tested. He does not shoot for a lot of takedowns and during his fights he does not engage in for a ground fighting when he drops opponents down. He lost to Woodley via submission after Till got knocked down by Woodley with a lovely counter. Even though it is a bit of a stretch, it could be said, that his weaknesses are ground game and wrestling.
Kelvin Gastelum is more complete fighter than Till. He can wrestler, submit people, knock them out. He can just do it all. Gastelum was competing in the Welterweight division until Dana White ordered him to move up the weight due to constantly not making weight. He has had an impressive run in the Middleweight division and earned a title shot for the interim Middleweight Championship against Adesanya. In that fight he was able to hurt Adesanya many times and Adesanya never looked so banged up. Gastelum lost the fight as towards the championship rounds he gassed out and was not able to keep up with Adesanya anymore. Gastelum as a smaller Middleweight does not have too many options when it comes to striking, as he kinda has to put pressure on his opponents in order to win a fight. His strikes, especially his rear hook and overhand are exceptionally powerful and with those strikes he is able to knock out anyone in the division. When it comes to his weaknesses, there are not many, but his biggest weakness is his cardio. With a better cardio, we would have seen a title bout for the undisputed Middleweight king between Whitaker and Gastelum. Another weaknesses are height and reach. Most of his opponents in the Middleweight division were a lot taller and had a significant reach advantage. But even with the reach disadvantage on Gastelum’s side, he was able to outbox some of his opponents.
This fight most probably won’t need judges decision. Both fighters are more of strikers than grapplers and possess incredible power in their strikes. Till probably does not need to worry about his weight-cutting, as when he was a Welterweight, there were some issues with cutting weight. Till will probably be the one to take the center of the Octagon and try to pressure Gastelum. There is a very high possibility, that Till will not win this fight with a submission. Only 2 submission wins out of 17 overall speaks for itself. Again Till does not even shoot for takedowns, so if Till wins by submission, it would be the most surprising way for Till to win. Gastelum has higher chances to win by submission, as he does not mind a little ground game. His gameplan will probably be to wait and shoot for a takedown, when he gets his opportunity. As he is definitely a better grappler, his chances for winning a fight by submission are higher than Till’s. If this fight ends up being a kickboxing/Muay Thai style of fight, it is anyone’s guess, who of these two fighters will win by KO. Both of them have powerful strikes, both have been dropped during their careers. It is very difficult to predict. As with predicting, who’s gonna knock out who, it is also difficult to predict the winner by decision. Till is longer and taller and if he can outstrike Gastelum and defend takedowns, he has bigger chances of winning by decision. But if this fight goes to the ground multiple times, Gastelum is a favorite.