Ian Garry promised Madison Square Garden debut after big win at UFC 292
"I'm excited to cause a bit of trouble."
Ian Machado Garry returned to action on Saturday as he puts his perfect 12-0 MMA record on the line. He was be up against veteran Neil Magny, who is currently ranked number 11 in the division, at UFC 292.
The card took place in Boston, writes Donal Long, and was headlined by Aljamain Sterling, who ended up losing his 135lbs belt to Sean O'Malley. The Dublin fighter was looking to continue his ascent up the welterweight rankings following his first round, head-kick knockout over Daniel Rodriguez, in May.
Garry was originally meant to face Geoff Neal in the Boston event on August 19 - a match-up that had a bit of heat with it thanks to some mind games from the Irishman. Garry was seen sporting a t-shirt featuring a mug-shot of his opponent Neal at a recent UFC event. The rising star spoke on the incident and explained his reasoning:
“I played some mind games with Geoff Neal and the t-shirt and I was excited by it. I’m excited to be disruptive, I’m excited to cause a bit of trouble. That makes me feel like a little kid. That makes me go, oh, how’s he going to react to this?”
It was then recently announced that Neal would be unable to fight at UFC 292, following an injury. However, Garry feels his antics had a part to play.
“I believe I got so deep in his head that now we’re not fighting. That upsets me. I wanted the fans to see what I’d do to Geoff Neal if we fought. But we’re focusing on Neil Magny now.”
Ian Garry wants to bring UFC back to Dublin
Ahead of the fight, Ian Garry had definitely turned his attention to Neil Magny, who has been competing in the UFC since 2014. Despite his short notice opponent being extremely different to Neal from a stylistic standpoint, Garry had “absolutely zero hesitation” in regards to taking the fight.
“I am the reason the fight with Neil Magny is so big. It’s because I show up every single time and I put on a show, excite the fans. The fans know when I fight, it's going to be chaotic and they’re going to see some of the best striking the world has ever seen. So no hesitation, whatsoever.”
A win on Saturday would have projected Garry into the top 10 of the welterweight rankings. This meant Ian Machado Garry saw it as a must win, “get the hand raised, whatever physical way possible.”
Although he had been hoping for a fourth stoppage win in six bouts, this doesn’t mean that fans should have been expecting a reserved and cautious performance from the 25 year old:
“Don’t think for a second that I don’t have the most violent, beautiful finish that Boston has ever seen planned in my mind. Don’t think for one second that I’m not going out there with absolute anger and aggression and a violent, chaotic mindset to go out there and finish Neil Magny.”
As it turned out, Garry's leg-striking hampered Magny severely and he dominated all three rounds to go 13-0 in his pro career. After the fight, UFC president Dana White outlined plans for Machado Garry's next two fights:
“I do want Ian to go to Dublin, just not next. Madison Square Garden, that’s where he goes next. There’s a blueprint for this shit, and we got it.”
The Irish relationship with Boston is something that Garry wants to act upon this weekend. He believes; “the Irish influence in Boston just shows the world how incredibly powerful Irish MMA is." It is something he hopes he can use to “bring the UFC back to Dublin.”
He also feels that with a top 10 ranking beside his name, this will give him more “leverage” to make a show in the 3Arena happen next year.
Should the UFC return to Dublin in 2024, it would be the first time the organisation has held a show in the Irish capital since 2014. An event that was headlined by Conor McGregor.
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