Las Vegas, NV — Irish welterweight Ian Garry might just be living the dream this week.
“My dream has been to fight in Vegas. You give me the biggest fight you possibly could in Vegas with International Fight Week. With a card that’s as stacked as it is, from top to bottom it’s just highly entertaining,” he said during Wednesday’s UFC 276 media day. “So I’m looking forward to it being a fight card that people are going to remember, and being part of that myself and going in there and putting on a performance that everyone remembers, it’s going to be awesome.”
Garry (9-0), entering his third fight with the promotion, is the greenest fighter on the card. He’s also undefeated, and has the potential to be the next be star out of Ireland. That has brought about the obvious comparisons to a certain other Irish star. It has also put the 24-year old under the microscope, with the cacophonous cries to critics singling out his last performance. Never mind the fact that Garry won, he just didn’t win the right way, supposedly.
“So what happened at the end of the fight? My hand got raised? That’s the main thing. That is it. Regardless of my performance or what happens, whether I knock him out, whether I sub him, whether it’s a f*cking war or I dominate the fight, as long as my hand gets raised, I’ve done my job,” Garry said in his own defense. “That is my job, is to go out there and win. To put on a show and win. And I won, I won very convincingly.”
Garry doesn’t want to just win, however. He wants to win against opponents who are at their best.
“I don’t want people coming off losses. I want people when they’re happy, I want people when they think they’re that f*cking good, and then I go in there and I shut them down and just say ‘I’m better, I’m better than you,'” Garry exclaimed. “And I want to prove that. And that’s what I’m going to keep doing my entire career, is just proving that I’m the best. And I don’t need to be better than anyone else in the world except the guy that stood across from me that night. And that’s it.”
As for motivation, much has been made of fighters becoming fathers. Max Holloway is the Daddest Man on the Planet. Dad Cerrone was a different animal. But Garry, with a son on the way, doesn’t expect much to change.
“I don’t fight for my family. I fight for myself. I fight because I love fighting. I compete because I love competition,” he told Cageside Press. “My family, I obviously— My favorite thing about fighting is, I’m going to use it to travel the world. When you look at Florida, when you look at New York, when you look at Vegas, it’s like, I’m able to go to these amazing places and have different cultures, different people [around me], surround myself with some of the best in the world at what we do, and just enjoy the process, enjoy the travel, enjoy the freedom. And the fact that I’m able to do it with my family so close by my side is gonna be awesome.”
But while the motivation hasn’t changed, Garry acknowledged that “my life will be different after this. In regards to, I will have a little boy that I have to feed and look after and help become his own man, and I’m just excited for that.”
Watch the full UFC 276 media day appearance by Ian Garry above. More coverage can be found below. The event takes place this Saturday, July 2, 2022 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.