Ian Garry: Sean Strickland and Colby Covington Part of ‘Dark Age in MMA’

ian garry
Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Ian Garry has emerged as one of the UFC’s fastest rising stars, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the top 10 ranked welterweight.

Just days before a scheduled main card bout against Vicente Luque, Ian Garry was forced to withdraw due to an illness while fielding personal attacks towards his family by fans and fellow fighters including controversy kings Sean Strickland and Colby Covington.

With a clean bill of health and the benefit of hindsight, Ian Garry addressed just how it has affected him ahead of his main card feature with Geoff Neal.

“It’s more just about understanding what’s important in life and pulling the people around you closer. And giving the ones that care for you, the ones that love you, the ones that help you every single day to be the best you possibly can be, to give them your love, give them your time, give them your respect.”

While Ian Garry has committed to a positive outlook, he has no plans on letting the trash talk from his colleagues go unanswered.

“My wife was called a pedophile by Sean Strickland. No woman ever deserves to be called that…the people that follow Sean Strickland commented on a couple of photos [of my son] at the very start of all of this hate saying, ‘is the kid even yours,’” he said at the UFC 298 media day.

In November, the former middleweight champion started an avalanche of headlines and discussions with a social media post accusing Garry’s wife, television personality Layla Machado, of being a sexual predator. “The Future” hopes to jump divisions to settle the dispute in the cage.

“I’ll thump the f*cking mouth off of Sean Strickland one day and there’s nothing he can do about it. And I’ll talk to him. I’ll dance in his face. I’ll do whatever I want because the truth is when we get locked into that cage one day, he’s never going to be able to deal with me…There’s no man on the planet that talks about my wife or my family like that and doesn’t get it eventually.”

Also Read: UFC predictions for UFC 298, including big wins for Ilia Topuria and Henry Cejudo

Ian Garry: Turning Off ‘Outside Noise’

Garry, who has drawn comparisons to Conor McGregor, has always embraced the trash talk that is prevalent in combat sports. Recently however, he believes the words of Strickland, Covington, and their supporters have crossed unacceptable boundaries. He believes that the pair have ushered in a “very dark age in MMA” that betrays the spirit of the sport.  

“It’s not trash talk to call my wife a pedophile or say that the kid isn’t even mine. That’s not trash talk. That’s abuse. That’s horrible and no person on the planet deserves that. We’ve seen that recently and the two main culprits are f*cking Colby and Sean Strickland.”

However, with Neal scheduled to stand across from him in a few days, the main focus has been turning off “outside noise.” That includes shutting down Instagram comments and Garry surrendering his phone to his team.

With a spectacular showing against Neal, Garry hopes to “retire” Covington, bring the UFC back to Ireland and compete for the welterweight title by 2025.

Ian Garry and Geoff Neal are slated for the main card of UFC 298. The event takes place this Saturday, February 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Also Read: Henry Cejudo ‘Motivated by Anger’ Leading Up to UFC 298

Ant Walker is a native of the Washington DC area that now lives in Los Angeles. He has been... More about Anthony Walker

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