UFC CEO Dana White has confirmed that Ian Machado Garry has been pulled from UFC 296, just over two days before the Dubliner was scheduled to fight Vicente Luque in Las Vegas.
Responding to speculation online, White posted a video to social media overnight confirming that the unbeaten Dubliner had been forced to withdraw from the fight.
— danawhite (@danawhite) December 14, 2023
“Alright guys, I know it’s out there — there is some speculation that Ian Garry and Luque is off. It is true, it is [off],”White said in the brief clip. “
“Ian Garry started with the flu that turned into pneumonia,” White continued. “So that fight is off and is not happening. It is true.”
The Irishman removal from this weekend’s bumper pay-per-view card comes amid a backdrop of intense media scrutiny into Garry, much of which was sourced from unsubstantiated rumours online.
Garry, who has kept a low profile in recent weeks, had been expected to speak to the media in Las Vegas on Wednesday but while his opponent, Luque, delivered comments to reporters Garry was not among the fighters presented to reporters — with his illness now likely the reason for his non-appearance.
The Irishman, a former Cage Warriors champion, is a perfect 6-0 (13-0 overall) in his young UFC career to date, and was looking to extend that run with a victory over the hard-hitting welterweight veteran Luque.
It remains to be seen if the UFC will seek to rebook Luque on short notice to keep him on Saturday’s card, or hold him back to potentially fight Garry early next year once he recovers from his illness. The UFC has not as of yet announced a replacement fight on the main card but should they opt to do so, the prelim main event between featherweights Josh Emmett and Bryce Mitchell would appear to be a likely candidate.