UFC 244 I Squared Up: Till vs Gastelum Preview and Betting Tips

Jason Paglia

Friday, November 1, 2019 1:13 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 1:13 PM UTC

The last time we saw the two fighters in the co-main event, they were getting their teeth knocked in.

<div><p>The Ultimate Fighting Championship hits the east coast of the states this Saturday for UFC 244. The event will take place in the greatest city in the world, under the lights of the most famous arena Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. There are zero title fights this weekend and it doesn’t even matter. The fight card from start to finish is phenomenal, and sure to be one of the best of the year, hands down. From a betting perspective there are multiple spots to bank some units. For anyone that is looking to live bet the card, the Odds Market MMA team will be on SBR’s Live Line betting the card starting at 6pm (eastern.)</p><p>The last time we saw the two fighters in the co-main event, they were getting their teeth knocked in. Both come in off a loss, both needs this fight badly to get back on track. It’s going to be a great one when Darren Till steps up to the middleweight division and squares up against the #4 ranked middleweight fighter in the world Kelvin Gastelum. Alright fellas, let’s get it to it then, shall we?</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>DARREN TILL (17-2) vs KELVIN GASTELUM (15-4)</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong><img alt src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/R25PBAEjmkt0WCQ_1Qq13UEBeQU=/0x0:3882x3095/1200x800/filters:focal(1231x318:1851x938)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/59866323/usa_today_10359627.0.jpg" style="width:700px;height:467px" /></strong><br /><b>Darren Till</b></h2><p>Darren Tiil was born in London, England. From the age of 12 he began training in the art Muay Thai. At the ridiculously young age of 15 years old he turned professional. Shortly after he began training to become a professional mixed martial artist. After he began his training in London, a near death experience caused him to move to Brazil for 6 months to train. He ended up staying in Brazil for 3.5 years while he perfected his craft.</p><p>He began fighting on the regional MMA scene when he turned professional. After amassing a 12-0 record, Till got the call from the UFC and immediately signed with the promotion. He made his debut on less than 2 weeks notice at UFC Fight Night 67 against Wendell Oliveira Marques. He would go on to win the fight via TKO. He has fought 8 times since entering the UFC, winning 5 of the 8 with 1 draw. The problem for Till is, he hadn’t lost in the UFC through 6 fights. And now he comes into Saturday’s fight off the only two losses in his career. How will Till respond? Will he be able to get back on track stepping up in weight for the first time in the UFC against a game opponent like Kelvin Gastelum? Below is a look at Darren Till, by the numbers.</p><p><strong><u>― STATS ―</u></strong></p><p>•<strong>Method of Victory •Significant Strikes </strong>(per/min)<strong> •Takedowns </strong></p><p>▪10 wins by TKO ▪ 2.41 Landed ▪ 0.61% Accuracy</p><p>▪5 wins by Decision ▪ 3.09 Absorbed ▪ 83.33% Defended</p><p>▪2 win by Submission</p><p><strong><u>― PROS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Striking</strong> (Till is a very talented striker. His creativity is what stands out at you the most. You can tell that he has trained in the art of Muay Thai for half of his life. He is crisp, accurate and has a ton of power for his frame...)</p><p>• <strong>Speed </strong>(Darren Till was a very fast welterweight and I expect that speed to travel with him to middleweight. The extra weight shouldn’t kill his speed. His hand speed most of all.)</p><p>• <strong>Range/Movement </strong>(Part of the reason why he is a creative striker is due to how well he moves in the Octagon. He uses his range striking really well. At the same time, he can dart into the pocket and hit you with a 3 piece and angle out in a way where he avoids the brunt of damage his opponent is trying to counter him with.)</p><p><strong><u>― CONS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Ground Game </strong>(If there was a weakness that Till has, it is certainly him being a one dimensional offensive fighter. He would rather stand and bang then take the fight to the ground. Event in scramble when the fight goes to the ground and he is on top, he is not great at using his top control and keeping he opponent on the ground. It seems like he lacks basic BJJ and wrestling principles which COULD be an issue against a fighter like Kelvin Gastelum.)</p><p>• <strong>Chin </strong>(You never truly know how a body will react to being knocked out for the first time. The chin especially. We have seen a fighter get knocked out and be completely fine in his next fight, being able to absorb massive head strikes. On the flip side we have seen someone’s chin get cracked once and then the flood gates open and the chin is destroyed for the remainder of their career. How will it effect Till is a giant question)</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://sportshub.cbsistatic.com/i/r/2019/02/10/92c893c8-522a-4bcd-a79a-31070da11ad4/thumbnail/770x433/a6ea843266480d68ab764fa478f62c1b/kelvin.jpg" style="width:770px;height:433px" /><br /><b>Kelvin Gastelum</b></p><p>Kelvin Gastelum comes into Saturday’s co-main event the #4 ranked Middleweight fighter in the world. He has come a long way since his debut on The Ultimate Fighter in January of 2013. Gastelum was thrown into the spotlight at a young age. At the age of 21 he became the youngest fighter in the history of the show to win the TUF contest and was crowned the Ultimate Fighter 17 Champion. He struggled early in his career with making weight.</p><p>As a welterweight he missed weight and was fined on multiple occasions which led to him moving up a weight class to where he currently fights at Middleweight. Gastelum comes into Saturday’s fight off the biggest win in his career. He followed up a submission loss to Chris Weidman with back to back victories over Michael Bisbing and his last fight against Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Kelvin Gastelum has been the only fighter to make Israel Adesanya look human. Gastelum was able to win 2 rounds of a 5-round fight with Stylebender. Considering what Adesanya just did to Robert Whittaker, it makes Kelvin’s performance look even better in that fight. It is probably the reason he didn’t drop in rankings after the fight. Will Gastelum get back in the win column this weekend? Below is a look at Kelvin Gastelum, by the numbers.</p><p><strong><u>― STATS ―</u></strong></p><p>•<strong>Method of Victory •Significant Strikes </strong>(per/min)<strong> •Takedowns </strong></p><p>▪6 wins by TKO ▪ 3.83 Landed ▪37.04% Accuracy</p><p>▪5 wins by Decision ▪ 3.06 Absorbed ▪62.90% Defended</p><p>▪4 win by Submission</p><p><strong><u>― PROS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Power </strong>(Kelvin Gastelum moved up a weight class and still has some of the best punching power in the division. Those hands should not be taken lightly. If he hits Till square, we will see how good Darren Till’s chin has recovered.)</p><p>• <strong>Wrestling </strong>(He has an excellent, he does have some wrestling in his past. While he only gets his opponents to the ground 50% of the time, If he does manage to get you down he is really strong in the guard. He is capable of keeping people down on the ground.</p><p>• <strong>Versatility </strong>(Kelvin Gastelum is one of those Jack of all trades master of none type fighters. Initially I didn’t think so. I thought the strongest part of his game was his striking game. He moves well for a stocky guy and those hands are powerful and the combinations he is capable of putting together are impressive at times. Even still, Gastelum has spread it around with 6 knockout wins, 4 by submission and 5 that have gone to the judges’ cards. He is capable of winning multiple ways that makes him dangerous in any fight.</p><p><strong><u>― CONS ―</u></strong></p><p>•<strong> Pressure Puncher </strong>(I think this could be a big factor in the fight. It seems to me that Darren Till is best when he is leading exchanges. I don’t love him as a counter puncher but mybe I’m wrong. If I am not, Gastelum’s constant pressure could definitely be a factor in this fight.)</p><p>• <strong>Takedown Defense </strong>(This will not hamper Gastelum this fight because if it is up to Darren Till, they will be standing for the entirety of the fight. It is worth noting for future fights however that Gastelum lets way to many fighters get in on/under his hips. Weidman was able to get Gastelum down at will. Fighters that lull Gastelum to sleep get too close to him and takedowns are there for the taking, but this will not affect him on Saturday night. If anyone is on the ground Saturday it will be Darren Till if Gastelum can get him down.</p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=168&amp;a=4417b7df-a48f-47f3-9b45-f79858bc083a&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d582dcf927b95968483da5f/original-10-bet-new-customer-welcome-bonus" style="width:100%" /></a></p><p><strong>THE VERDICT</strong></p><p><strong>I like both of these fighters. I do think that Gastelum has shown us considerably more in the Octagon than Darren Till has. Could Till win a round off of Adesanya right now? Not a chance. That being said, am I looking to lay (1.43) with Kelvin Gastelum in this fight? No, not really. At the same time I don’t want to back Darren Till until I know his chin is square.</strong></p><p><strong>Full disclosure, I don’t like this fight enough to bet it before it starts. I will be watching closely, and if Till is getting the best of the exchanges and I can hop on him live at a plus price that is what I will be looking to do. As far as giving you guys something now. I do lean that this fight ends inside the distance, but I don’t love the price. If it as more reasonable I would have bet it for a half unit, but at (1.64) I don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze. There was one prop, I might take a flyer on. Fight ends by knockout at (2.20). The chances are with these 2 fighters, if it ends inside the distance it is more likely to be by TKO/KO than anything else. That is a way to get a better price on the distance prop if you are looking for something. No official pick here, this is a fight that has live betting all over it. If you are looking to live bet the card with the Odds Market MMA team, we will be on Saturday (6pm eastern) on the SBRPicks You Tube Network. Enjoy the fights!!!</strong></p><p><strong>THE LEAN</strong></p><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="UFC Betting Odds"><strong>Fight ends by TKO/KO at 11/10 (2.10) with Bet365</strong></a></p></div>
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