Ian Garry: “I want to bring the UFC back to Dublin”

At UFC 273, Ian Garry (8-0) will make the walk to the octagon for the second time of his career. The welterweight will be taking on Darian Weeks (5-1) as the featured fight on the preliminary card on Saturday, April 9th. 

The Dubliner spoke to Sean Sheehan for Sherdog about his upcoming fight with Weeks, who is also making his second UFC appearance.  Weeks made his debut against Bryan Barberena on 7-days notice and lost a decision to the 170-pound veteran. Despite that defeat, Garry recognises that he will have a tough opponent standing across the cage from him in just a few days’ time. Out of the five of the professional wins that Weeks holds in his career, all those wins have come by stoppage. Garry predicts that he is not going to see anything out of the ordinary from his American rival when the octagon door closes on Saturday night.

“Darion is a game fighter. He made his UFC debut on a week’s notice, and I’ve got to respect that about him regardless of the result. I know he lost against Barberena but he did give a good account of himself in that fight. He went in there on short notice and he didn’t get rocked and he didn’t get wobbled and Bryan is a guy who likes to make it tough and he like to make it awkward when he fights. I’m looking forward to seeing what Darion is going to try to do to me.”

“I don’t think that there is anything that he is going to throw at me that I’m not going to have an answer to. Whether it’s him wanting to get into some wrestling so he can showcase some of the elite level wrestling that he has, well ok, just bring it then. If he wants to try and stand and bang with me, great, bring it. I don’t really care, I’ve said this many times in the past. I don’t care what anyone wants to do inside the cage, it’s all about what I wanna do. My opponents can try. I’ll defend it, I’ll work around it, I adapt, I overcome and I inevitably win. Every single time. 

Leaving the Cage Warriors the welterweight champion, Garry made his debut at UFC 268 against Jordan Williams. Although he won the fight by a vicious knockout in round one, Garry stated that he was unhappy with his first performance under the UFC banner. But the 24-year old’s remains sky-high coming into the fight with his American adversary.

“In my mind, I want the first round knockout. The sooner I get out of there, the better it is for me. That is what will create more hype around my name. In reality, I can see the finish coming whenever he gets desperate, whenever he starts to over-reach or try to go for a takedown that he shouldn’t be going for. Once he loses his cool, which he will. I’ll crack him. I’ll make him break. “

“Once I break him he’ll start to panic and when that happens, that’ll be it. I don’t care if it’s a submission. I don’t care if it’s a knockout. I don’t really want to go back to the corner and get some advice, I think that we have done enough work to get the job done inside 5-minutes. I’m not going to rush myself to make that happen, when it opens up, I’ll take it.”

Ian Garry was in attendance at the 3Arena on July 19, 2014. That night he witnessed Conor McGregor beat Diego Brandão in the main event. That night inspired Garry to follow a path into Mixed Martial Arts. That path has led him to an 8-0 record coming into his second fight inside the UFC’s welterweight division. Having moved away from Ireland to Florida in 2021, Garry is now training under the tutelage of Henri Hooft at Sanford MMA. But home is where the heart is and an opportunity for the Dublin man to come back home to headline a show in his own backyard is right on top his to-do list. 

“Bringing the UFC back to Dublin is something I want to do. I want my friends, family and supporters to fly away and go on these amazing adventures. That being said, it’d be fucking nice to a fight in the 3Arena and fill that place up. From an Irish point of view, fighting there and getting a whole country behind me would be great for my brand. Let me bring everyone to Dublin and let me show them what this is. This is the future of the sport. This is the guy who’s going to lead the way. I do feel like I will be that guy.”

“It’s obvious that I’m still behind Conor. If he wanted to do Croke Park tomorrow, if the UFC wanted to make that happen, Conor would make it happen. But am I that person that is leading the next wave of Irish talent? Absolutely I am. Do I think I can do it? 100 percent I do, and I hope that I can. I hope that the UFC is smart enough to know that I can do it too. The UFC are not a stupid organisation, they know what to do and they can sell the 3Arena out. If that is something that they are looking to do then I’m game. I’ll happily sit there and headline a UFC show in the 3Arena.”

Ian Garry takes on Darion Weeks on Saturday, April 9th at UFC 273 in Jacksonville, Florida. The event is being broadcast on BT Sports in Ireland and the UK. The the prelims and the main card are also available on ESPN+. See the official fight card below.

Main Card

Featherweight Championship: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung

Bantamweight Championship: Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan

Welterweight: Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev

Women’s Strawweight: Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres

Lightweight: Vinc Pichel vs. Mark Madsen

Preliminary Card

Welterweight: Ian Garry vs. Darian Weeks

Heavyweight: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Marcin Tybura

Women’s Bantamweight: Aspen Ladd vs. Raquel Pennington

Welterweight: Mickey Gall vs. Mike Malott

Early Preliminary Card

Heavyweight: Alexey Oleynik vs. Jared Vanderaa

Middleweight: Anthony Hernandez vs. Josh Fremd

Women’s Strawweight: Piera Rodriguez vs. Kay Hansen

Bantamweight: Julio Arce vs. Daniel Santos

Ian O'Neill is the host of the SevereMMA UFC Preview show and one of the co-hosts of The Auld Triangle - Irish MMA podcast. You can find more of Ian's work on the SevereMMA Patreon where he co-hosts The Chasing Pack and The Contender. Follow him on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma

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