Ian Machado Garry maintains his optimism regarding his prospective opponent, despite Dana White’s contrary statements. Following his dominating unanimous victory over Neil Magny at UFC 292, Garry shifted his focus toward a potential clash with Stephen Thompson, all in his relentless pursuit to establish himself as the premier striker in the welterweight division. During the post-fight press conference, White stated that an offer had been extended to “Wonderboy” for a bout against Garry. However, the two-time title contender reportedly declined the offer.
While Thompson hasn’t directly addressed White’s remarks, the 25-year-old Irish contender remains steadfast in his belief that the much-anticipated match he’s called for will eventually materialize. He’s even willing to wait past the suggested date at UFC 295 in November.
Garry voiced his optimism, saying, “I think there’s every possibility this fight happens. It makes so much sense for this fight to materialize for the fans, for the UFC, the buildup to the fight. The excitement that this fight would generate for the UFC fans, for the organization, it would be phenomenal — and to do it on a card like [Madison Square Garden in New York], to be able to do it on the pay-per-view in December, or to be able to headline a Fight Night in an arena somewhere would be even better.”
He continued, with a touch of humor, “I am excited to fight ‘Wonderboy’ and I believe that this matchup will materialize. I believe God works in very, very beautiful ways, and for some reason, I end up getting everything I want. So my energy, everything that I have is absolutely expecting that ‘Wonderboy’ fight to be the contract put down in front of me soon. I’m just going to sit here and wait. He said no yesterday, today’s a different day.”
Ian Garry isn’t just known for his undefeated career but has also earned a reputation as a master of psychological tactics. He launched verbal attacks on both Neil Magny and Geoff Neal before they even entered the cage together at UFC 292, a strategy that seemed to work against Magny. As for Neal, Garry attributes his withdrawal from their fight to a T-shirt he created featuring Neal’s mugshot from a 2021 arrest.
However, when it comes to “Wonderboy,” Garry is taking a different approach. He highlighted his personal connection with Thompson and emphasized that his desire for the fight is purely professional, nothing personal. “I know ‘Wonderboy’ as a friend,” Garry said. “He knows my family. We have worked together on Karate Combat. We have spent time with each other. My wife and him worked together on Karate Combat and they do shows. He has met my kid. We have talked. We have chilled out.”
Garry goes on, “He is an amazing guy. I am not fighting ‘Wonderboy’ because of malice, because of bad intentions. I’m fighting ‘Wonderboy’ out of the highest of respect. What the man has done and achieved as primarily a striker in this sport is sensational — 57-0 as a kickboxer, goes out there in MMA and does all of his tricks in the cage and proves how good he is every time he gets in that octagon, just how good a striker he is. I’m going out there to compete against one of the best strikers the world has ever seen.”
With a touch of wit, Garry adds, “That is what excites me about this opponent, this fight. It isn’t malice, there will be nothing but respect. I just want to go out there and prove I’m the best striker in the world, and to do that, I have to beat ‘Wonderboy.’”
While Thompson’s recent fight against Michel Pereira was scrapped due to a weight issue, he expressed a desire to face a higher-ranked opponent. Garry, though positioned below Thompson in the rankings, has been rapidly gaining recognition since entering the UFC. This has shifted the focus onto their potential bout.
Garry’s perspective is that the fight with “Wonderboy” holds considerable allure. He mentions the crowd’s excitement during the Kevin Holland-“Wonderboy” fight, emphasizing the electric atmosphere that their striking styles would generate. He asserts that the attraction goes both ways, saying, “I believe for ‘Wonderboy,’ there is just as much pull for me to fight ‘Wonderboy’ as there is for ‘Wonderboy’ to fight me.”
He goes on, “I’m known. I’m undefeated. I’m a prospect that everyone is talking about as potentially being a future champion. I’m a striker. So ‘Wonderboy’ knows I’m going not try to grab his legs and wrestle him. He knows that I want to prove I’m the better striker. So he knows what he’s getting into.”
Rather than passively accepting White’s statement that “Wonderboy” declined the fight, Garry continues to advocate for the bout, hoping for a different response in the near future. Until he receives a definitive answer that the fight won’t happen, Garry’s sights remain set on this particular matchup.
In his own words, Garry asks, “Why not take it? Why not go out there, say yes, sign the dotted line, fight me over five rounds and prove who the best striker in this division is. The only reason he would say no is because he knows who’s better.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Striker Showdown
Who is Ian Machado Garry?
Ian Machado Garry is a 25-year-old Irish UFC contender known for his prowess in the welterweight division.
What did Dana White say about a potential fight for Garry?
After Ian Garry’s win over Neil Magny at UFC 292, Dana White claimed that Stephen Thompson had been offered a fight against Garry but allegedly declined.
How does Garry feel about a potential fight with Thompson?
Garry is optimistic and believes the matchup with Thompson will eventually materialize. He’s willing to wait for the right opportunity, even beyond the proposed date at UFC 295.
How does Garry view his relationship with Thompson?
Garry and Thompson have a personal relationship from working together on Karate Combat. Garry respects Thompson and intends to fight him out of admiration, not malice.
Why does Garry want to fight Thompson?
Garry wants to prove he’s the best striker in the world and views Thompson as a formidable challenge due to his exceptional record and skills in striking.
How does Garry’s approach differ from his previous tactics?
While Garry used mental warfare against previous opponents, he maintains a respectful approach with Thompson due to their personal connection and mutual respect.
Why does Garry believe the matchup with Thompson is appealing?
Garry emphasizes the excitement their striking styles would bring to fans, drawing parallels to the electric atmosphere in the Kevin Holland-“Wonderboy” fight.
What does Garry believe is the reason for Thompson’s potential hesitation?
Garry asserts that Thompson might decline due to the understanding that Garry is a fellow striker and aims to showcase his striking skills, making the competition intense.
How is Garry’s persistence in pursuing the fight evident?
Garry isn’t dissuaded by White’s statement and continues to advocate for the fight, hoping to hear a different answer and indicating his unwavering interest.
What does Garry aim to achieve by fighting Thompson?
Garry wants to demonstrate that he’s the superior striker in the welterweight division, and he’s eager to face Thompson in a competitive showdown to prove his point.