UFC 292 is slated to be a monumental event in the mixed martial arts calendar, boasting a slew of renowned fighters, high-intensity title defences, and promising undercards. Yet, amidst this galaxy of stars, one confident fighter stands out, aiming to make a meteoric mark: the indomitable Irishman, Ian Machado Garry.
This Saturday’s pay-per-view spectacle in Boston has secured prime fighters, yet, according to Garry, the real sizzle, the heart of the show, is his bout against Neil Magny. Such a sentiment might be brushed off as mere pre-fight banter, but when one delves deeper into Garry’s journey and his unwavering belief, this assertion takes on a gravitas that’s hard to ignore.
“I believe that I am carrying this 292 card on my back, and that if it wasn’t for me, this card would go down the drain,” proclaimed Garry on The MMA Hour. A bold claim, especially considering that the card features prominent fighters such as bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling squaring off against the famed Sean O’Malley, and the two-time strawweight champion Zhang Weili, who is gearing up for the first defence of her second title reign, facing Amanda Lemos.
However, Garry’s claim isn’t baseless bravado. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Garry’s initial opponent Geoff Neal had to withdraw, but even with this sudden change, Garry remains unfazed. He’s now set to face Neil Magny, a veteran of the game who proudly owns the UFC record for the most wins at 170 pounds. Such a record would intimidate most, but for Garry, it’s another day at the office.
“With the opponent change and everything, at the end of the day, I’m just happy the fans get to see me, because I know there’s a lot of Irish and Brazilian support in Boston that are excited to have me there. I’m glad the fans get to watch me live in action,” he stated.
Boston, with its rich Irish heritage, has always been a hotspot for fighters from the Emerald Isle. Garry, cognizant of this history and drawing strength from his recent training stints in Brazil, expects nothing less than a resounding reception. “I’m Irish. I’m fighting in Boston. They have a massive Irish contingent. I’ve just been in Brazil the last two and a half months, [and] the biggest contingent of Brazilians is in Massachusetts and Boston,” he elaborated.
His conviction is not without merit. Garry, having held the title of the Cage Warriors welterweight champion, has had a sterling track record in the UFC. Out of five appearances, he’s been triumphant in each, with three wins arriving via knockout. Moreover, his unblemished record stands tall with 12 professional wins, underscoring his elite status.
Moving beyond UFC 292, Garry has a vision for his future, filled with challenges and conquests. “’Wonderboy’ [Stephen Thompson], Colby [Covington], [Kamaru] Usman, Khamzat [Chimaev], Belal [Muhammad], Kevin Holland – all these names are on my radar,” he announced.
His ambitious goal to break into the top 10 is close at hand. “Saturday night, I’m going to beat Neil Magny in beautiful fashion, and then I’m in the top 10. I’m in the top 10 in such a short amount of time that every single possible matchup that you can put me in is absolutely ridiculous,” he articulated.
However, while his ambitions are lofty, Garry isn’t one to get ahead of himself. Drawing from past experiences, especially his callout of Magny post his victory against Daniel Rodriguez, he’s learned the importance of strategic planning and astute decision-making. After all, in the fiercely competitive world of MMA, staying two steps ahead is paramount.
“I have to wait and see if there’s other people that are being in talks,” he mused. “I need to talk to my people and find out who is linked, because I don’t want to call someone out and have that fight not come to fruition. I have my people that I want to call out, and I’m going to make it happen. When I win, I know who I want. So let’s wait until Saturday night, and you’ll see. Trust me, it will be worth it.”
In an arena filled with many stars, Ian Machado Garry is adamant about being the brightest of them all. And with UFC 292 just around the corner, the world waits to witness whether Garry’s predictions come to life.