Why Ian Machado Garry didn’t call out the biggest abuser in the UFC

The irony is beyond bitter and well beyond biting for Irish McGregor impersonator Ian Machado Garry.

By: Eugene S. Robinson | 1 month ago
Why Ian Machado Garry didn’t call out the biggest abuser in the UFC
Ian Machado Garry puts the screws to Neil Magny at UFC 292. Bob DeChiara IMAGO/USA TODAY Network

Back story is everything. If you hadn’t seen the pre-show scrambles over the Ian Machado Garry v Neil Magny UFC to-do, you might have thought the Irish Garry was running a little hot. There were birds flipped, heads slapped up the side of, and a lingering agita that went well beyond “show” business.

“Well, he said he’d beat him,” someone told me. “Like he beats his three-year-old son.”

Mic drop and whatever sympathy you might have had for the dismasted Neil Magny, a perpetual UFC irregular—who usually loses when you expect he’ll win and wins when you least expect it—is out the window.

This, despite all of the he-man-woman-hating that is so much part of the MMA menu these days, the idea of a professional fighter (or as in other cases, any professional athlete) hitting a toddler for any reason smells. Bad. Like shit. And beyond that, shitty parenting.

No one who was hit would comfortably make the claim that they are better off for it so Garry, when he wasn’t imitating accused rapist Conor McGregor, was fired by righteous and justified anger. Which he gave voice to before, during, and after the fight.

A believable turn of events. Which places Garry in the Good Guys column that frames most UFC narratives these days.

Is it bothersome that the vast majority of UFC Good Guy narratives rarely involve fighters of color? Yeah. But this is not about that, though it could easily be.

Ian Machado Garry’s selective heroism

This is about lingering questions regarding where Garry the Good Guy was on New Year’s Eve this year.

There are a few people who could have used him then. One person in particular: Anne White. White, the wife of UFC CEO Dana White was filmed being slapped and kicked by her husband. And if you were tempted to add “after she hit HIM first” there, don’t. Because cops on domestic violence calls play a useful measure and it’s called proportionality. 

Anne White hits Dana White once, maybe he gets a pass, legally for returning it. But the second slap, and the kick? 

Maybe Garry was out with McGregor whose playbook he’s borrowed so much from. Not the multiple alleged sexual assaults. Or video-taped bus assaults. Or accused phone assaults. Or the old guy not wanting to drink that Proper 12 swill on-video assaults. But the walk, the talk, and in some cases the exact same lines.

So much so that perhaps he’s unable to see that if Magny is a problem he’s not the only one with a problem.

“Well, there’s a difference between assaulting a grown adult woman and a child.” The speaker was a woman and a mother. Her claim was that the woman can leave any time she wants. The child, not so.

“But the piece of shit that does the one probably also does the other,” she said. 

Standing up to a shitty boss

However, how many of us have shitty bosses?

My last boss was arrested by the Justice Department and is looking at a 30-year prison term. My first boss was dragged into the Iran-Contra deal. And what did I do during my tenures under both of them? Absolutely nothing.

But I’m playing no version of a good guy on this or any other planet.

Moreover both of my eyes work well so I’m not likely to see Magny but miss White. So, if the choice, as it was presented was to say something one-sided or say nothing and serve up re-hashed McGregor, I believe I’d choose the latter. Minus the sexual assaults. Just so I could look at myself in the mirror when I was patting myself on the back for being such a goooooood guy.

You know what though?…

Maybe let’s just let Garry be Garry, whoever that is (are there many Irish named Machado?) because it’s inevitable that he’ll eventually discover in the starkest terms ever that, as White himself once said, “MMA is not a long-term career.”

You know what IS a long-term career though? Carrying the terribly heavy cross that White has to carry for being a Wife Beater. Our hearts really go out to him and the injustices he’s suffered. Too bad there’s no one to fight the good fight for him and have the good make right this evil wrong.

Eugene S Robinson’s memoir –A WALK ACROSS DIRTY WATER AND STRAIGHT INTO MURDERER’S ROW: A Memoir–  will be published October 12, 2023, on Feral House

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Eugene S. Robinson
Eugene S. Robinson

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