In the moments after his knockout win over Daniel Rodriguez in May, budding welterweight contender Ian Machado Garry had a name on his mind. He told Daniel Cormier in his Octagon interview that he had a plan and his next step to the top of the division was to defeat veteran Neil Magny.
Instead of getting Magny, the UFC offered Machado Garry a fight with top ten ranked Geoff Neal on the PPV portion of UFC 292 in Boston.
“The Future” happily accepted and turned his attention to training for Neal. Machado Garry went to Brazil for rounds with Charles Oliveira in addition to his regular training at Kill Cliff FC in Florida. Just a few weeks before UFC 292, Machado Garry received news that Neal was going to have to withdraw from their matchup on August 19, but all was not lost.
Neil Magny stepped up and accepted the fight on short notice.
“I will say this very simply,” Machado Garry told UFC.com with a smile. “I always get what I want.”
“[When Neal pulled out] there was nothing else I could really do, but I pushed myself to keep going, to keep training to get ready for no matter who it is or where it is and just show up and do me. At the end of the day, the truth is, no one was watching this fight because of f****** Geoff Neal or Neil Magny. They’re watching it because I’m the guy in the Octagon.”
Machado Garry is right; fight fans are interested in watching his rise – or his fall. He’s thrilled to have both the support and the doubters adding to the noise that he brings to social media and to fight week.
He views his career as a business, and with the type of performance he’s expecting to deliver at the TD Garden this weekend, business will be booming.
“When it comes to my own career, I feel like this fight cements just how good I am,” Machado Garry said. “It excites fans about the potential matchups that are to come. It also gives the doubters fuel. ‘Oh, he’s not going to beat X, Y, and Z.’ Great, I love that people doubt me. I love that people don’t want me to fight them because I show up and I prove just how good I am against the people they keep doubting me against.
“The future is inevitable. I’ve said this before. When I show up, I get my hand raised, and I do it in spectacular fashion against Neil Magny and against anybody else in the top ten. It’s going to come to fruition, I promise you. Just sit back and watch.”
One of the biggest reasons that Machado Garry called for the fight with Magny is because of Magny’s longevity. “The Haitian Sensation” is tied with Matt Brown for the most fights in UFC welterweight history (30) and he has the most wins in UFC welterweight history (21). Magny has been a fixture in the welterweight Top 15 for years but hasn’t been able to make the jump from contender to title contention.
Machado Garry believes that Magny is a “gatekeeper” to the welterweight top tier and that’s why a win over him is so important. It’s exactly what the 25-year-old needs to do to prove that he’s not just a talented young fighter with personality, but that he’s a true contender.
“Neil has been fighting since I was 12 years of age. Neil has been ranked since before I was an amateur. Neil has seen every style, every look that the UFC has had. He’s fought the best of the best, he has fought the contenders, he’s fought the rising prospects,” Machado Garry said. “Neil is not going to care about what I’m trying to do. He’s going to try to implement his own game. He’s been around, he’s a veteran of the sport. He does what he does best by making the fight his way. I’m not going to allow that. I’m far too fast and far too intelligent. I’m far too good at what I do. I am here to show the world, by using Neil Magny as my example, just how good I am and break into the top ten.”
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Even though he’s only notched five fights in the UFC so far, this type of opportunity doesn’t feel too big for Machado Garry.
Yes, he’s fighting his toughest opponent to date, but this is the exact path he expected he would be on. Everything has lined up perfectly for him to back up what he’s been saying and to do it on the biggest stage possible.
“After my fight, the people are going to be saying that Ian Machado Garry is the real deal. This kid is a superstar, he is a showman. He took over the UFC in Boston. This kid is spectacular.”