Key Moments: Ian Garry

UFC
February 14, 2024
As he prepares to take on Geoff Neal at UFC 298 on Saturday, we take a look at five defining moments of his undefeated career.

What separates a champion from a superstar? The general idea is that the foundation for a champion is laid in the gym. They earn their wings and credibility representing their gym in local tournaments, eventually soaring to new heights on grand stages like the Ultimate Fighting Championship. While reaching the pinnacle of the sport requires sweat equity, and one might argue the need for natural talent, not every great fighter becomes a star.

Ian Garry is a breed apart. He has all the makings of a champion and the infectious charisma of a potential future superstar. The Irishman has the gift of gab, the talent to back his boastful assertions, the zest of youth, and as every superstar does, a fair share of detractors eagerly anticipating his downfall.But what led to Garry becoming this highly sought-after figure? “The Future” entered the UFC basking in the success of seven triumphs with no losses, already in possession of a welterweight title in Cage Warriors Fighting Championship, one of the world's top feeder organizations. He has carried that momentum forward in the UFC, amassing six victories with three finishes.

Garry was a primary headline grabber at UFC 296 despite never making it to his scheduled bout against Vicente Luque due to pneumonia. Before the fight, he faced persistent scrutiny, encompassing his wife's past work, verbal onslaughts from UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland, and a notable departure from Team Renegade.In the face of those challenges, Garry relied on the pillar of support provided by his family, took on the scrutiny head-on, and stuck to what he does best: perfecting his skills as a martial artist. Going into his next fight, he must be going through a gamut of emotions, waiting with vehement desire at the chance of retribution to silence his doubters.As he prepares to take on Geoff Neal at UFC 298 on Saturday, we take a look at five defining moments of his undefeated career.

5-Star Finishing Streak

After a successful debut against James Sheehan at Cage Warriors 101, Garry embarked on a destructive spree in his next five bouts. It began with Matteo Ceglia in a catchweight bout contested at 177 lbs. at the Cage Warriors: Unplugged 2 card, where Garry secured a second-round TKO victory via a flying knee. He stood up to the challenge of Mateusz Figlak and George McManus in subsequent bouts, notching a technical submission via rear-naked choke and TKO against the respective opponents. With two more impressive finishes over Lawrence Jordan Tracey and Rostem Akman, Garry was already turning heads and knocking on the doors of the UFC.

First taste at Championship Gold

Garry’s maiden championship conquest was against Jack Grant at Cage Warriors 125. The Irishman displayed crisp striking to batter Grant and inflict damage. When the fight hit the canvas, Garry stepped up to the plate and even attempted multiple submissions and passed the test of scrambles with flying colors. With this dominant victory and the Cage Warriors welterweight championship on his waist, he punched his ticket to the UFC.

A UFC Debut Worth Remembering

Garry faced Jordan Williams at UFC 268 to mark his Octagon debut. His standup game and toughness were tested once again. Williams, recognizing that he was walking a tightrope in the UFC having lost his first two bouts in the promotion, approached the fight with a make-or-break mentality. He stood in the center of the Octagon with the Irish striker, countering Garry’s leg kicks and strikes with jabs and a powerful left hand. However, the offense failed to make a decisive impact as Garry continued to press forward and throw strikes of his own.Towards the end of the first round, Garry had found his range, even managing to wobble the challenger with a counter-right punch that opened up when Williams overextended for a labored punch. Garry couldn’t have asked for a better debut than a first-round knockout.

The Next "Mystic Mac?"

What made Conor McGregor the most popular star on the UFC roster was his ability to breathe life into a prediction, and the moniker of “Mystic Mac” followed suit. It can be argued that Garry has the same innate ability to weave his vision into existence.Locking horns against Daniel Rodriguez on May. 13, 2023, Garry took the center of the octagon as soon as the bout commenced and kept landing on Rodriguez at will. Midway through the first round, “The Future” stunned his opponent with a thunderous right head kick and followed up with vicious ground-and-pound as the referee intervened to call an end to the fight at 2:57 of the first round.As if that weren’t enough, a video of Garry calling the defining moment of the fight spot-on went viral on social media. He quickly became the subject of everyone’s interest and it’s safe to say several fighters on the roster fancied a crack at the Irishman.

A Polarizing Triumph

Ian Garry painted Neil Magny as an abusive father ahead of their clash at UFC 292. For context, Magny, during the pre-fight media scrum, claimed that he plans on dispensing a father-like “ass whooping” on Garry. The Irishman seemingly made a mountain out of a molehill according to many and preserved the wrath for the impending clash.Garry dealt crippling blows to Magny’s legs early on which compromised his opponent’s movement for the rest of the fight. Having pulled the rug from under, Garry followed up by attacking the breadbasket and his opponent’s dome. The methodical demolition led to a unanimous decision victory for Garry and his sixth straight in the UFC. The 26-year-old was exposed to a fusillade of verbal onslaught from fans, but despite that, held firm to his assessment of the pre-fight comments by Magny.

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/5-Defining-Moments-Ian-Garry-192604

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