Home Sports UFC 303: Ian Machado Garry says Michael Page has spent the majority of his career fighting ‘nobodies’

UFC 303: Ian Machado Garry says Michael Page has spent the majority of his career fighting ‘nobodies’

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February 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, United States; Ian Machado Garry lands a punch against Geoff Neal during UFC 298 at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Machado Garry is 14-0 with seven knockouts, but has yet to face the upper echelon of the UFC welterweight division. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Stop me if you’ve heard this: A brash young Irishman rises through the ranks of MMA to become a household name in the UFC while critics fire from afar and fans wait to see how far the man’s particular skills can take him. .

No, it’s not that other guy, the one who was supposed to headline UFC 303. Conor McGregor’s comeback plans were undone by a broken toe. Ian Machado Garry, however, is still on track to take on Michael “Venom” Page on Saturday’s undercard, and he’s doing his best to provide some verbal entertainment ahead of the fight.

For example, what do you think about the UFC selecting Page as his opponent?

“I thought, damn, I wanted to fight someone who was higher up in the rankings,” Garry said. “I wanted to fight someone who would get me closer to that world title opportunity. I have no interest in fighting (Page). And to this day I don’t.”

Then there’s the matter of his preferred opponent, Colby Covington, who Garry called out in the cage after his win over Geoff Neal in February.

“I know the UFC wanted the fight,” Garry said. “I had back and forth conversations with them. Like telling him to take his finger out. Tell him to get ready. He has to fight. But the truth is that Colby is afraid. He doesn’t want to fight me. I’m that young, talented prospect that when I beat him, it’s the end of his career. He doesn’t want any of that. He wants to stay relevant on Instagram and maintain his place in the rankings just by talking. That’s all.”

This type of media presence, along with his 14-0 record as a professional, has been enough to make Garry a household name within the UFC. Fans know him and remember him. When they add it to a billboard, it’s news.

But that particular spotlight also comes with some heat. Garry has become a favorite target of wrestlers like Covington and Sean Strickland, who seized on a somewhat satirical 2012 work titled “How To Be A Wag,” written by Garry’s wife, Layla Machado Garry, and used it as ammunition. against the 26.-year-old fighter. Even now, one of the suggested topics when searching for his name online is “what is the story of Ian Garry’s wife?” It got to the point where, before his last scheduled fight, Garry expressed concern for his family’s safety as they traveled to the US for the event.

This is one of the tricky parts of becoming a well-known man in a sport like MMA. Making people care is a good and necessary thing, but it also generates opinions about each and every aspect of your life, whether they are well-founded or not.

“I would like people to know the truth and not the lies,” Garry said. “The truth is that people don’t know the truth. People were fed lies and facts that were not true, and people had not investigated. And these people spread and spread and talked and talked, but not one person investigated or connected with me and talked to me or my team about these rumors. So I wish people knew more of the truth. And who cares about other people’s personal lives?

Now, heading into his eighth UFC fight, Garry’s career feels like he’s tiptoeing toward a cliff. Opponents become tougher and more familiar. The spotlight becomes brighter and warmer. The expectations are higher. When you have an undefeated record, especially in a sport where those are very rare, there is pressure to maintain that momentum. And now that he’s cracked the welterweight top 10, there are fewer and fewer people standing between Garry and a UFC title shot.

Page (22-2, 13 KOs) may be lower in the rankings and newer to the UFC, but he is also a tough challenge. Tall and lanky, with an unpredictable and unconventional style, he made even a seasoned veteran like Kevin Holland look lost in Page’s UFC debut. Trying to figure out that guy in three rounds has been frustrating for a lot of people. When he does his thing, he also has the ability to put his opponents on the business side of the highlight reel.

Then again, according to Garry, those are just the opponents who aren’t very good to begin with.

“The truth is he’s fought most of his career against nobody,” Garry said. “And he’s come out with some beautiful knockouts and some beautiful performances against these people who are nowhere near the caliber that he is. MVP is phenomenal at what he does and can freeze people. These people never deserved to be in the octagon. “They never deserved to be in the ring with him in the first place.”

Garry, on the other hand? So far everything indicates that perhaps he does deserve it. And if you ask him, he will gladly tell you that he deserves much more. At least he managed to get our attention. Now comes the part where he has to prove why he should keep it.

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