Ian Garry reveals all about move to Sanford MMA and training with Henri Hooft

  • Tom Ward
Ian Garry will make his UFC debut against Jordan Williams at UFC 268 on November 6.

Ian Garry is doing things his own way – whether people like it or not.

The Irish UFC fighter freely admits to having a bit of a rebellious streak – hence the rather bold decision to leave the Republic of Ireland for Sanford MMA in Florida this summer. 

“It was kind of a no brainer to be honest,” he reveals. “There’s so much knowledge for me to learn from here and so much for me to take on board and use to grow and evolve my game.”

“Henri has already put a lot of time into me and things he wants me to improve” is how he describes his relationship with esteemed kickboxing coach Henri Hooft. “He’s helped me fix a couple of things that I didn’t think were wrong and you really can start to see the benefits already,” he tells GIVEMESPORT

Garry, 23, was shockingly left without a gym to call home following his title-winning victory over England’s Jack Grant at Cage Warriors 125 in June. 

But the Dubliner has effortlessly settled into life at Deerfield Beach and has been met with rave reviews by a number of his more-established teammates, including top contenders Gilbert Burns and Derek Brunson

“I’m a pretty big personality so I walk in and it’s kind of like you either love me or you hate me,” Garry admits. “I’m quite loud, I’m quite annoying at times, I’m well aware of this.

“But I get along with everybody, I haven’t had any beef yet, I don’t think I’m going to have any because everyone here is really f—— nice. It’s a really nice team bond here, everyone wants everyone to win, it’s good.”

Ian Garry pictured with Henri Hooft and Tyrone Spong

Except for one fighter it seems perhaps. 

“Michael Chandler is my b—-,” he laughs. “I f—– him up in training. No, I didn’t really. Me and Michael Chandler have a running joke now that I’m just going to say in every interview that I f—– him up. 

“Look, Michael Chandler is an elite-level lightweight, he is fighting Justin Gaethje. He just fought for the title, could have potentially won the UFC title in that fight, do you know what I mean? He rocked Charles Oliveira, Oliveira caught him with a beautiful shot.

“He is elite, he is up there with the best of the best in the sport, and to be getting rounds in with him in wrestling, which is obviously his ballpark, it’s brilliant to feel his style of wrestling and his strength, what he likes to do. 

“But the knowledge I’m soaking up like just when I’m talking about that, I’m wrestling Michael Chandler, that’s bad— in its own right. 

“We’re going to have a lot of fun in New York, me and him, we’re going to have a lot of fun in New York…

“I think there’s probably going to be more s— talk between me and Michael Chandler in New York than there will be me and anybody else unless I see Colby Covington.”

Ian Garry pictured at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas

While Garry (7-0) often finds it hard not to laugh at the character Covington portrays, he also feels that he has overstepped the mark far too often with some of his trash talk in the past. 

“If I see Colby, I’ll s— talk him,” he adds. “I’m just going to annoy him. He annoys everyone, but I’m going to annoy him, I’m going to make it my goal to annoy him. 

“I’ll probably just knock on his door at like 3am in the morning, just like that, and then when he answers the door, just be standing there like, ‘Hi’, then run away.

“I think that would be hilarious, because he is a bit of a d—, but I like the character that he’s playing, until he goes too far, so yeah, that’ll be funny.

“I didn’t like what he said about Brazilians, there’s no need to be calling people that, it ain’t right.”  

Ian Garry will make his UFC debut against Jordan Williams at UFC 268 on November 6.

UFC welterweight kingpin Kamaru Usman will defend his title against former interim champion Covington at the upcoming UFC 268 pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden in New York on November 6. 

But don’t be surprised if Garry ends up stealing the limelight when he makes his debut against Jordan Williams on the same card. 

“I keep saying I’m 23, signed to the UFC, making my debut at MSG,” he admits. “Sounds pretty good right? Sounds pretty good.

“I’m kind of speechless about the whole thing to be honest, even when I’m talking to the boys on the mats.

“It doesn’t happen that often that you get someone making their debut at the biggest venue in the world.”

In case you weren’t didn’t know already, ‘The Future’ is now, and he is here to stay.

“November 6, I’m going to walk in there, and I’m going to f—— disrupt the entire organisation,” Garry says. “You think you’ve seen stars before… Well, sit back, relax and enjoy the show, because s— is about to get turned up to eleven.” 

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