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‘MMA community should be thankful’ for UFC 298’s Ian Machado Garry: ‘There will always be haters’

Once again, it’s Ian Garry fight week.

The undefeated (13-0) Welterweight contender has turned into quite a polarizing figure over the past months. Unfortunately for the 26-year-old Irish import, that’s been more thanks to outside the Octagon antics and questionable targetings of his personal life from the community.

In Garry’s last time out, he scored his biggest win yet with a unanimous decision over seasoned veteran, Neil Magny, at UFC 292 in Aug. 2023. Garry was originally supposed to fight Geoff Neal at the event until an injury led to Neal’s withdrawal. Garry was then supposed to return against Vicente Luque for UFC 296 back in Dec. 2023. However, illness struck and Garry was removed him from the bout, which only continued the verbal assaults from “fans.

Ultimately, he and Neal will now collide at UFC 298 this weekend (Sat., Feb. 17, 2024) inside Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

“I don’t believe any performance that I can go out there and put on is going to silence people,” Garry told TNT Sports (h/t MMA Fighting). “There will always be haters. The more success you have, the more haters there are, that’s just unfortunately the way the online community is right now and it’s ridiculous. But am I going to use that fuel to go out there and put on a performance, to maybe rile them up and [expletive] them off a little more then, yeah? Why not? Why not get under their skin a little bit more and get my hand raised? Why not go out there and body Geoff Neal and stand over his body and just look at everyone around the stadium and see people’s faces? And I just go out there and I just stand there, ‘This is what I do. This is what I do best.’

“The truth is the MMA community should be thankful because everybody’s videos that were posted, that had my name on it, got much more traction, more views,” he continued. “Everyone posted about it, everyone talked about it, and the truth is, I guarantee you go back and look at your videos, those videos at that time got the most views. And you had people talking about me, talking out their ass, not fact-checking, not doing anything. The truth is, I’m still going to show up to do my job this time. I’m going to get my hand raised. I’m going up to 14-0 and if anyone has a problem or anyone has anything to say, I couldn’t care less.”

Garry has caught flack from two of the sport’s most vocal names, Colby Covington and Sean Strickland, in the past few months. With the latter a former Middleweight champion, the pair almost had a dust-up inside the UFC Performance Institute.

To say Garry enjoyed the outcome of Strickland’s last fight would be putting it mildly.

When it comes down to it, Garry is the one doing the fighting and he wants to remind the world that.

“When I sign up to fight, I’m putting myself in that firing range,” Garry said. “I have that target on my back. My wife doesn’t, my son doesn’t, my team doesn’t. Fire at me all you want, that’s okay — I’m in this, I get to go in and punch someone in the face and get rid of it. I get to go in and I can call you out and I can fight you and we can do this. But to attack people’s loved ones and people’s family, I feel, is real low. I mean, my wife got called a pedophile. No one in the world who isn’t that deserves to be called that.

“So, all of the [expletive] that’s been said absolutely has an effect on me and my loved ones, and it’s hurtful and it’s upsetting and it was difficult to deal with at the time, but we’ve learned from it,” he concluded. “Somehow through all that negativity we’ve learned to pull the people around us closer. If you don’t eat at my table, I don’t care for your opinion.”

That’s because they aren’t “real.

LIVE! Watch UFC 298 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

WORLD FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Sat., Feb. 17, 2024, for the first time in more than two years with its latest pay-per-view (PPV) show. In the ESPN+-streamed PPV main event, reigning Featherweight roost-ruler, Alexander Volkanovski, will defend his 145-pound strap against undefeated surging Spanish contender, Ilia Topuria. In addition, former Middleweight kingpin, Robert Whittaker, will finally square off with mercurial mauler, Paulo Costa, in UFC 298’s co-feature. UFC 298 will also feature the returns of Ian Garry, Geoff Neal, Henry Cejudo, Merab Dvalishvili and so much more!

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 298 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET (simulcast on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET), before the pay-per-view (PPV) main card start time at 10 p.m. ET (also on ESPN+).

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 298: “Volkanovski vs. Topuria” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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