Darren Till has passed the first hurdle in a new weight division.
At Friday’s official weigh-ins for UFC 244 in New York City, Till successfully weighed in at middleweight (with one-pound allowance), tipping the scales 186 pounds. This will be Till’s first middleweight appearance for the promotion.
Despite Till moving up from welterweight, there had been plenty of reason to doubt that the one-time UFC title challenger would be able to make 185 pounds for his fight with Kelvin Gastelum on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. Till had twice failed to make weight competing at 170 pounds and his fight week was complicated by a visa issue delaying his trip to New York.
It was actually Gastelum who stirred up the drama on Friday morning as he waited until the last five minutes of the eligible weigh-in period to step onto the scale. However, he successfully came in at 184 pounds, making the UFC 244 co-main event official.
Till was not available for the standard UFC media appearances this week as he did not arrive in New York until Thursday evening. The 26-year-old Englishman is looking to bounce back from consecutive losses after beginning his pro career unbeaten in 18 appearances.
Two fighters did miss weight, including one under odd circumstances. Flyweight contender Jennifer Maia weighed in at 127.2 pounds, 1.2 over the division limit. This is the second straight time that Maia has missed weight. She weighed in at 129 pounds for a July bout with Roxanne Modafferi that she would go on to win by unanimous decision.
Jared Cannonier was also on hand as a back-up for the Gastelum-Till bout, but failed to make weight, coming in at 186.8 pounds. It is unclear if the miss will cost Cannonier his show money and if he will still be allowed to replace one of the co-main event fighters should either be forced to withdraw before Saturday night.
See the full weigh-in results below:
Main Card (ESPN+ PPV, 10 p.m. ET)
Kelvin Gastelum (184) vs. Darren Till (186)
Preliminaries (ESPN2, 8 p.m. ET)
Undercard (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)
Katlyn Chookagian (125.4) vs. Jennifer Maia* (127.2)
**additionally, Jared Cannonier came in at 186.8 pounds, missing weight as an emergency replacement for the co-main event