Ian Garry says he ‘can’t wait’ to put on a show in his adopted home state as part of the warm-up act for Alexander Volkanovski‘s clash with Chan Sung Jung on April 9 at Vystar Veterans Memorial Center in Jacksonville, Florida.
Garry, nicknamed ‘The Future’, will look to make a statement when he takes on Darian Weeks on Saturday night.
Fighting out of Sanford MMA in Florida, he has spent the past few weeks training alongside Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Gilbert Burns, UFC and Bellator MMA veteran Michael Chandler and current UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman to name but a few.
GiveMeSport caught up with the promising Irishman, who hails from Dublin, to discuss his training camp, upcoming fight, and what could be in the future.
GMS: What was it like training with Kamaru Usman? Did you pick up any tips?
Garry: “It wasn’t sparring, it was technical drills, but it was still cool to be within touching distance with the pound-for-pound king.
“It was really cool, he’s been in the gym a lot more lately, hitting pads.
“Dude, it’s just awesome to see these guys every day.
“And yeah, seeing Usman here, seeing him in the flesh, seeing the way he trains, it was awesome.
“It was an experience I was very lucky to have.”
GMS: Khamzat Chimaev will also be fighting your teammate Gilbert Burns on the same night. Is that a fight you want in the future?
Garry: “I know Khamzat has been messaging Henri.
“Henri keeps telling me he’s been sliding into his DMs on Twitter.
“I like his energy so I’m excited to bump into him at the fighter hotel and see if we have a little bit of banter.
“From everything I’ve seen from him he has that same energy I do in a sense.
“He doesn’t care. He just wants to have a bit of f****** fun, he just wants to go in there, fight, win and work his way up the ranks. He’s got that kind of ‘I don’t really give a f*** mentality’ kind of like me.
“So yeah, I’m game for a bit of boisterous activity with Khamzat if he wants to have a bit of banter with me, I’m game.
“He’s f****** amazing. He is. He’s an amazing talent.
“I will eventually step into the cage and fight Khamzat, and I cannot f****** wait for that day, it’ll be f****** awesome.”
GMS: Speaking of Burns, you seem to be very close to each other. Can you tell us a little bit about your friendship?
Garry: “Obviously, Gilbert’s a jiu-jitsu specialist, right? He’s a f****** multiple-time world grappling champion. He’s like a Jedi Master.
“But the one thing I love about Gilbert is he’s not above anyone.
“He gives everyone the same amount of time, he speaks to everyone, like he genuinely cares about everyone.
“If he sees someone hurt the first thing he does is he offers to help them with it.
“The Burns family, they’re all just lovely as well. They really care, that’s the thing. You can see that about everyone in the gym.”
GMS: Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t this the first time you’ve fought in Florida?
Garry: “Yes, I’m fighting in my adopted home state for the first time, and I can’t wait to f****** rock the world one more time.”
GMS: A word on your opponent Darian Weeks. How do you see the fight playing out?
Garry: “He fought Bryan Barbarena on a week’s notice, and he gave a good account of himself, do you know what I mean?
“He showed he was game, showed he had heart, didn’t really look out of his depth in any way, shape or form.
“Obviously he lost his debut, which isn’t great, so I think he’s going to come out and be a bit more methodical in his approach to this fight.
“Apparently he’s got a number of ways he can beat me and I’m looking forward to him trying every single one of them and figuring out that none of them work.
“But it’s just a case of whenever he starts to get desperate, and he will, because there’s not a single person that I haven’t sparred with or trained with that doesn’t get frustrated with what I do.
“It just doesn’t happen. I bring frustration out of people. It’s how I like to fight.
“And once I see that, that’s when I’ll take over, and that’s when I’ll finish the fight.
“I will find what ever way it is to put him to sleep. I’ll figure it out. And whenever I figure it out it’s game over. That’ll be it.
“He can do everything he wants to do and I hope he does, I hope he comes out and he’s game and he’s ready, because I don’t want there to be any excuses when I beat him.”
GMS: How would you describe yourself in one word?
Garry: “Ian Garry is a perfectionist.
“He settles for nothing less than perfection.
“The minute my last fight was finished, everyone was like, ‘That was amazing’, but I was like it’s not good enough.
“Like yeah, I just got a first round knockout at MSG, but it’s not good enough, it ain’t good enough.
“I can’t not focus on the things that didn’t go right. There’s one or two things that could’ve went better. There’s one or two things that I don’t like that I want to improve on.
“If you watch the footage, the first thing I did was I went over to Greg Jones, Jason Stroud and Henri Hooft.
“I said, ‘Hey, we’ve got a lot to learn guys’.
“I know that. As I’ve said to you before, I don’t want a fast rise, I want a longer stretch. Take time in between fights, grow and evolve as a man, as a human, as a fighter.
“Every fight you see me, I’m just going to be more evolved, just a better version of me every time.”