To hear Joe Rogan tell it, the UFC has something pretty special in Ian Garry. The unbeaten Irishman first rose to prominence coming through the Cage Warriors circuit, branding himself as a sort of second coming of Conor McGregor.
“Being compared to one of the biggest superstars on the planet and the person who changed the sport isn’t a bad thing in my eyes,” Garry said in a 2022 interview with ESPN. “So, yeah. I’ll take it and run with it.”
While he’s worked more to distance himself from that image in the time since then, the shadow of his longtime idol still clearly hangs over the top of the 25-year-old from Portmarnock. Considering the level of superstardom to which McGregor has climbed, that may not be such a bad thing.
Joe Rogan and Bas Rutten high on Garry’s future
On a recent episode of his Joe Rogan Experience podcast, the longtime UFC commentator sat down with old school MMA legend Bas Rutten. Rutten was there first and foremost to talk about Karate Combat, the recent startup combat sports promotion that features pure, full-contact Karate bouts, where the former UFC champion is a commentator. At some point, however, the conversation got to other fighters outside the organization, including Ian Garry and his future potential.
“(He’s) undefeated, so confident and so intelligent,” Rogan said (transcript via MMA Junkie). “Beating Daniel Rodriguez like that in the last fight, and being the first guy to stop Rodriguez (with strikes) – that’s a big deal. He’s got it. Whatever ‘it’ is, he’s got it. He’s on his way up.”
Dana White is impressed too
Joe Rogan isn’t the only one singing Garry’s praises. After his first round KO victory over Daniel Rodriguez at UFC on ABC: Rozenstruik vs. Almeida, UFC president Dana White had nothing but praise to heap on the streaking welterweight talent.
“You know what [Garry] said to us tonight?” White told the assembled media after the event. “‘I want to beat all the top guys in the top 10. I want to beat all the guys in the top 5. I want to make sure there’s no question that when I fight for the title that people know I deserve it.’ That’s a fun guy. He’s fun.
“We have the Irish guy blueprint around here. So, we’ll probably take him to Boston, or MSG, and then eventually Ireland if he keeps doing what he’s doing.”
No word yet on when Garry will be back in the Octagon, although the UFC has teased plans for a return to Madison Square Garden in October, for a PPV headlined by Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic. It just might be that Garry will find his next trip to the Octagon this fall. If so, no doubt there will be a lot more eyes on him when he steps into the cage.
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