Ian Garry Defends Performance Against Geoff Neal at UFC 298

UFC
February 20, 2024
Ian Garry is no stranger to criticism these days, and that was once again the case following his latest triumph.

Before Garry took the podium at the UFC 298 post-fight press conference, UFC CEO Dana White was asked by a media member about what was perceived to be a “listless” performance from the Irishman in a split-decision triumph against Geoff Neal at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, on Saturday night. As it turns out, Garry had just entered the venue when the question was posed.

“Hey Ian, this guy thinks your fight sucked tonight,” White yelled toward Garry. “He wants to know my opinion on your fight sucking tonight “ … To say that his fight wasn’t a good fight, it might not have been a great fight compared to the rest of the night with the card … Did Ian go on and put on an unbelievable performance tonight, like a knockdown drag-out war and win the fight? It wasn’t Whittaker-Costa, but he won the fight.”

Shortly thereafter, Garry himself as able to address the critiques of his performance for a fight that drew boos from those in attendance.

“Firstly, that’s ridiculous,” Garry said. “What was listless about it in your point of view? Footwork, speed, elusivity. If Geoff Neal was running at you swinging bombs, what would you do? You’d f—-ing run. That dude hits like a truck. My job is to make him miss and to counter. My job is to upset his rhythm, upset his footwork and find avenues to take advantage of his mistakes.

“That was the best Geoff Neal we’ve seen today. He wasn’t biting on feints, he didn’t bite on reactions as well as he normally does. And he hits like a truck,” Garry continued. “The truth is he slowed the fight down and grappled because he wasn’t happy with the striking he was having. He slowed the fight down and tried to grapple and take me down — another person who couldn’t. My speed and my accuracy and my footwork, it just tricks people. They’re just on the end of my rope, and I just pull them in and I just take advantage of them. Say what you want, have whatever opinion you want, my hand got raised. I’m breaking records again, I’m doing what I do and I’m still not done. I’ve got so much time to go.”

Later, Garry admitted that he wasn’t able to execute everything as smoothly as he might have liked, but that was due in part to his respect for the power of his opponent.

“I am my harshest critic. I will go back and watch the fight,” he said. “I wish I was able to set up a bit more kicks and make the fluidity of the combinations what I normally see. The truth is, if you crack Geoff Neal or you take an inch too much, he’s gonna put you unconscious. You have to respect that. There isn’t many people in the welterweight division that possess the power he has in that hand. You’ve got to respect that and give it the time it deserves and find that way to find that success.”

Garry also pointed out that winning a slugfest doesn’t necessarily align with his overall plans.

“I want to be active, I want to continue to fight,” he said. “If I go out and let Geoff Neal hit me 40 times, chances are I’m not going to be able to turn around very quickly. I can [now]. Give me two or three weeks off… and then we’ll try to book that Colby [Covington] date next.”

While Garry is adamant in his desire for a date against the controversial Covington, it isn’t because he beleives that’s the fight will propel him to a title shot. Instead, the Irish standout wants to take the proper steps before a championship opportunity is achieved.

“I want to earn it. I really want to earn it so that people don’t say it’s listless and it’s undeserved,” Garry said. “For me, I never want that on my career. That’s my third Top 15 guy. I’m gonna go out there and beat Colby Covington like we’ve never seen before. Then I want a Top 3 opponent, someone whose in that title contention. The truth is, Colby’s biggest claim to fame is he’s fought for three world titles and he’s lost all three. He’s not as good as people think he is.

“I promise you, I will end that fight, I will finish that fight and I will rid the UFC of Colby Covington once and for all. He will be gone. I’m sick of his nonsense. He’s a piece of s—t.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Ian-Garry-Defends-Performance-Against-Geoff-Neal-at-UFC-298-192669

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