The Severe Spotlight: Ian Garry

UFC 268 was sublime. Kamaru Usman defended his belt for the fifth time with his second win over Colby Covington. Rose Namajunas defends her belt in the rematch against Weili Zhang in a highly technical, close battle. Chito Vera stamped his name in the contenders list with a stoppage win over legend, Frankie Edgar. Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler gave us one of the greatest fights of all time. Shane Burgos and Billy Quarantillo did everything in their power to beat it, and that was just the main card.

The prelims were just as good, nine fights, 6 finishes in a row. Three debutants, and three highlight reel finishes, all three were in contention for this article. But when one is called Ian Garry, how could we not pick the Irishman?

Ex-Cage Warriors Welterweight Champion, and Irish standout Ian “The Future” Garry rode a media wave into his debut under the UFC banner. Interviews, BT Sport coverage, twitter exchanges with Conor McGregor and as much fanfare as a debutant can expect.

Post his Cage Warriors welterweight title fight, Garry moved his camp to Sandford MMA. Under the tutelage of renowned striker Henri Hooft and his team. Sandford boasts not just excellent striking coaching, but a legion of elite MMA grappling to learn from; Derek Brunson, Aung La N Sang and Durinho Burns to name a few. A smart move, a small fish in a huge pond, a facility brimming with knowledge and services.

Arctic Monkeys blasted over the MSG speakers as Garry sauntered his way to the cage for what would be less than 5 minutes work. It was not plain sailing. Jordan Williams started far quicker than Garry. Immediately landing straight shots to the Irishman, bloodying the nose and visibility hurting him. Garry was not able to find his feet in the first minute, uncharacteristically poor defensively allowed Williams to gain some steam.

The first promising moment came with the grappling exchange. Williams initiated that grappling exchange, to no avail. Garry showed fantastic fundamentals with his head position and ability to find underhooks, dragging his man back to his feet, reversing positions in the clinch and striking on the break.

Vintage Garry began to ensue from the obvious confidence boost the grappling success allowed. The hands started the flow, the feints sediment to the stream, high kicks edging closer to the target. The finish came with Williams overextending a counter left hand as Garry had off balanced him with a high kick. Garry slipped that left hand and landed a picture-perfect right hand. Wobbling Williams, he landed a further two as his man was crashing to the canvas. A few coffin nails to a turtled Williams, and referee Mike Beltran called off the fight.

Garry is no stranger to adversity, his title winning performance came with a significant knee injury, a fallout and subsequent departure from his team, and walking to the cage with a makeshift corner. He still performed, excelled, and picked up gold. He worked through adversity in this fight also, and that for a prospect is huge.

The future really does look bright for The Future. Who do you want to see him fight next?