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UFC 244 live blog: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till

Kelvin Gastelum faces off with Darren Till ahead of their middleweight co-main event bout Saturday at UFC 244 in New York City
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 244 live blog for Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till, a middleweight bout at Saturday’s UFC event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Gastelum, who is coming off of five-round interim title fight loss to Israel Adesanya, faces Till, a one-time welterweight title challenger who is making his UFC middleweight debut, in the co-main event.

Check out the UFC 244 live blog below.

Round 1: The in-cage referee for this one, Kevin MacDonald. No touch of gloves and Gastelum immediately takes the center of the Octagon. They tie up, Till looking to land knees to the body. Back in the center, Till lands a solid outside leg kick. Till engages the clinch and hits Gastelum with a glancing elbow. They jockey for position against the cage. Gastelum throwing knees to the thighs. Not a lot to score with two minutes remaining. Till with a leg kick. Short knee to the body by Gastelum. They trade inside leg kicks. Stright left by Til and they tie up, Till scoring with punches on the break. 1-2 by Till, Gastelum catches him with a leg kick.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Till.

Round 2: Gastelum with the leg kick to start, Till then lands one. Fast 1-2 by Till over the top. Short elbow to the chin as they break from a clinch. Till having some trouble with his cup. Body punch by Gastelum. Another outside leg kick connects for Till and there is visible redness on Gastelum’s right leg. Till with a short knee. Body lock by Till and he gets Gastelum to the fence, Gastelum reverses position. Elbow by Gastelum off the break scores. There’s an eye poke from Gastelum and after a short pause, Till says he’s good to go. Gastelum looking to establish the jab, but Till moving well and he’s landing punches from unexpected angles. Gastelum clinches up and he’s trying to get low for a takedown, Till fighting for underhooks. Till pumps the jab. Nice outside leg kick by Gastelum and Till has some color on his right leg. Crowd getting restless in reaction to the tactical battle. Gastelum’s punches are falling short. Takedown by Gastelum is stuffed, Till backs Gastelum up with a straight left. They trade leg kicks to close the round.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Till. Overall, 20-18 Till.

Round 3: Gastelum starts with low kicks again, Till catches a high won and lands a right hand off of it. Gastelum times a takedown attempt well, but the larger Till shakes him off. 1-2 by Till, the left hand lands clean. It looks like Till’s leg work has taken its toll on Gastelum’s movement. They clinch up, Gastelum with a left hand off the break. Right jabs scoring for Gastelum. Spinning elbow attempt by Till, he doesn’t get all of it. Outside leg kick by Gastelum. Short uppercut for Gastelum is good. Till catches another kick and he trips Gastelum down, Gastelum right back up. A pair of left hands land for Gastelum. Straight right for Till, then a knee lands. Till avoids a Gastelum takedown and continues to circle. He’s catching Gastelum at the end of his punches. Takedown by Gastelum with a minute to go, Till never stops moving and he’s immediately up, his back against the fence. Left hand up top by Gastelum. Another takedown has Till briefly on his back, he muscles his way out of the situation. A burst of activity by Gastelum but it might be too little, too late.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Gastelum. Overall, 29-28 Till.

Official result: Darren Till def. Kelvin Gastelum via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 27-30)

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