Ian Machado Garry is a name on the lips of a lot of MMA fans this week.
The Dubliner, 6-0 in the UFC and 14-0 overall in his still-young career, takes on what is generally considered to be the toughest test of his career when he fights former Kill Cliff FC training partner Vicente Luque on the main card of this weekend’s UFC 296 card in Las Vegas.
The fight comes amid increased scrutiny on Garry in recent weeks over a series of unsubstantiated rumours over aspects of his private life — but speaking to BJPenn.com, the undefeated Irishman suggested that he will do all his talking in the cage in Sin City this weekend on what he sees as being an inevitable journey towards a UFC world title.
“At the end of the day, he’s a friend of mine, but if beating him puts me one step closer to being the best in the world, I’m game and I know he’s the same way,” Garry, who now trains at Brazil’s Chute Boxe, said of his opponent this Saturday night. “My goal is to be one of the greatest to ever live, and that doesn’t matter who is stood across the octagon from me, I have to do what I need to do to show the world how good I am. Unfortunately, it’s Vicente next and it doesn’t bother me.”
But despite having spent numerous hours on the mats with Luque in the past, Garry says that this fight is just business and he will not allow himself to be distracted from his ultimate ambition.
“The truth is, I’m going to do what I do every fight and leave my name in everybody’s mouth after the fight,” he said. “I want to have the biggest performance, I want to be the person everybody is talking about, so I have to go out there and do something pretty spectacular to make sure that happens. If there is anybody who can do that, it’s me.”
What’s more, Garry adds that his time spent at Kill Cliff will have likely persuaded Luque and his coaching team to deviate from his usual heavy-handed approach to fighting.
“If anybody in that gym tells Vicente you can go out there and win this fight on the feet, they are all lying out their teeth,” Garry said. “They will all tell you this, I’m one of the best strikers on the planet, so for sure, the best and smartest way for Vicente to beat me is to try and take me down, and that is the same with everybody I fight. If I’m stood on my feet I will find a way to win because I’m unbelievably gifted in striking.”
And down the road, Garry said that as well as winning a world title he intends to bring the UFC back to Ireland’s capital for the first time since 2015.
“There is obviously UFC 300 and if they are going to put on a stacked card and put on some of the biggest stars in the sport, to create interest and generate eyes on the sport, you have to have me on that card, that makes sense,” he said.
“But, also, I want UFC Dublin, I want to bring the UFC back to Ireland, I deserve it. So, let me bring back the UFC back to Ireland, put on a show and be a top contender there, and put myself in the title contention. I have four more fights that I want to do, including Luque before I fight for the title.”