Ian Garry Ahead of his Cage Warriors 115 Fight: “The only thing I’m bad at, is not being bad”

Ian Garry (3-0) makes the walk once more this coming Friday night at Cage Warriors 115. The Dublin fighter is set to face off against George McManus (2-1) at welterweight who fights out of the UK.

Seán Sheehan caught up with the Team KF man just days before he is due to fight. When asked about the challenge ahead, Garry was in a confident in his response.

“I matchup great with him. What is he going to do? Good luck to him!” said Garry.

“If he tries to take me down he’s entering into a whole different ball game. If he wants to bring this to the ground I’m happy, any day of the week.”

“I’m allowed to do anything I want in this fight. There is nobody telling me, “you have to do this, you have to do that”. We have our little plan. We have what we do normally. We worked on that plan but at the end of the day Chris has told me to go in and do what I want.”

“So if he wants to come in and strike with me that’s great. If he wants to go to the ground, that’s great! If he wants to clinch, that great! I don’t consider myself a striker or a grappler. I consider myself a Mixed Martial Artist. I’m good everywhere. The only thing I’m bad at, is not being bad.”

The build-up for this fight has been a lot different for Garry in comparison to previous fights. The reason for that was obviously due to the ongoing pandemic. Garry shared his experience and what the build up was like for him and living with Covid-19.

“It’s been insane! The work that we’ve put in over the last couple of weeks. From the time that we were able to train it’s been insane. We’ve all worked our asses off. Obviously there wasn’t a huge group of lads but the whole group that I was training with worked hard.”

“They came down and they worked their asses off. They didn’t take a day off because they knew I needed the training. They wanted it just as much as I wanted it because we have all been starved of a proper training session since Covid came in and ruined it all.”

“We’ve put our heads down, worked hard and now it’s time for a bit of a wind down before the fight. Everything has been great. The last time I fought was 10 months ago. Right now I’m levels and levels above where we were back then.”

Photo by Patrick Sheehan

Garry went on to explain how the pandemic messed up some of his future plans but that in hindsight, it became a blessing in disguise.

“My plan this year was to fight multiple times early this year then if I was feeling ok jump in again around November/December time. I wanted to be 7-0 or 8-0 and be the most talked about fighters in Europe at the end of the year. Obviously that’s still my plan but Covid has come in and gave us a big roundhouse kick to the mouth and told us to “hold on a minute”.”

“For me it was just about learning and doing what I could inbetween to try and get better as a fighter. It certainly is a blessing in disguise. Like I’m only 22 years of age. I am in no rush.”

“I want to fight the best competition in Europe”, Garry stated. “I want to get that Cage Warriors belt and I may have four or five fights as the champion. I want to be fighting the best of the best of European fighters.”

“I wanna fight guys that have consistently fought in Cage Warriors, put the hard work in and are the best fighters around at the time in Europe. Especially in my weight division I want to string a couple of wins together, test myself against guys like that, get ready for the UFC and then go into the UFC and do the exact same thing.”

Garry has his eyes firmly set on the UFC. That was clear when Seán asked Garry how prepared he felt he needed to be before potentially joining the organisation.

“We don’t want to be a last minute replacement going into the UFC. I don’t want to be a last minute fight as my entry into the UFC. As much as a hate to use the example look at Rhys McKee. He stepped in against Khamzat Chimaev who is a killer.”

“Should Rhys have taken that fight? That’s not my decision, that was all up to him. Personally if that was me I don’t know if I would have taken that fight. You’ll never know until the offer is right in front of you. Rhys has gotten himself a UFC contract and at the end of the day that’s all that matters.”

“I want my performances to speak for themselves and I want the UFC to come looking for me eventually when it does eventually happen. I’ve got to put all the hard work in, keep winning, keep learning and keep progressing like the Cage Warriors machine does.”

“They build you up slowly and slowly, they give you the right tests. Ian and Graham run an amazing organisation, all the staff at Cage Warriors are just incredible at their jobs. They know exactly what they are doing. At the end of the day their job is to get fighters into the UFC and they’re pretty damn good at it.”

“I wanna be ready so that when I do get to the UFC, I am going to be ready. A load of people think I’m crazy saying this but I think that I could beat 75 percent of the welterweights and middleweights in the UFC right now.”

“The problem is, that last 25 percent. Do I win some of those fights? Do I not? Do I get smashed in those fights? I don’t think I will and I’ll always think that way.”

The Dubliner went on to explain further, “You look at that top 25 percent. You look at Kamaru Usman. Do I beat Usman right now? No! Could I cause Usman problems? Yes. I’m not saying I’d beat him. I’m not saying I’d go in there and it would be a walk in the park.”

“He is the best welterweight on the planet right now. But I do think I can go in there and cause problems.”

“Do I think I can go in there and cause problems for somebody like Colby Covington. Yes I do. He’s not going to walk through me. I know how good I am.”

“Certain people will think I’m delusional saying that but there’s only one way to know and that’s to come to the gym and train with me. I don’t say this shit because I think I’m good I’m saying this shit because I know it. I know it because I put in all that hard work.”

“It’s only a matter of time before I get into the UFC. I’m only in this game a short time and already what I’ve done is impressive. I’m delighted with my progression. I’m still jumping levels and getting better week by week.”

Cage Warriors 115 takes place on Friday 25th September. The prelims begins at 19:30 on Fight Pass and cagewarriors.com and the main card begins at 21:00 exclusively on Fight Pass.

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.