Since Ian Garry claims he is the future of the welterweight division, there is no better person to train with than the current division champion.
Garry, the former Cage Warrior welterweight champion, made his UFC debut last year, earning a first-round knockout over Jordan Williams at UFC 268. The Irish prospect is currently training at Sanford MMA, home to some of the top talent at 170lbs. in the world, including Shavkat Rakhmonov, Gilbert Burns and UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. While at Sanford, Garry said training alongside Usman — and hearing the stories about him — was a formative experience for the young prospect.
“I was kind of shocked because of his size,” Garry said on MMA hour. “He’s not as tall as he looks on TV, because he looks crazy when he’s on camera. But I was talking to guys, and they were saying he’s not he’s not the best striker, he’s not the best wrestler, he’s not the best at jiu-jitsu, but he’s the best at mixing things up. And they were like, ‘He’ll get beat at wrestling, he’ll get beat in grappling, he’ll get beat in kickboxing, but when it comes to MMA, he’s the best.” And we’ve seen that in his fights. I think he’s on a 15-fight winning streak in the UFC, which is crazy.
“It was obviously a pleasure to share the cage. He was explaining a few things that I can do better. We were doing kickboxing exercises, so we were swapping and changing between everyone. [Coach] Henry [Hooft] likes that we feel arm kicks, leg kicks, blocked head kicks, just little things, redirect kicks and shift energy and come back and fire again. I think we did two races together and it was really cool.
It’s not only cool for Garry, but enlightening. “The Future” moved to the United States to train full time at Sanford, so he could work with some of the best fighters and trainers in the world. For him, training with Usman and others is the best way to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming a champion, a goal he plans to take big steps this year.
“There is no rush. My main concern, my main goal, is to grow,” Garry said. “To become a better fighter, to become a better martial artist, to become a better athlete in any way possible. Diet, nutrition, strength and conditioning, and technical ability. So for me, it’s working with the team that I’ve surrounded myself with, to improve and grow and grow and grow. By the end of this year , I’ll be 4-0 in the UFC, I’ll have fought three times in 2022, and I’ll be 11-0, and I’ll prove to everyone why I said I’m ‘The Future.'”
That trip will take place on April 9 when Garry has his second UFC outing against Darian Weeks at UFC 273. Weeks is coming off a loss to Bryan Barbarena last December, and Garry plans to go two in a row to the American. .
“I hadn’t heard of him. The name was sent, I said yes, that’s it,” Garry said. “I took a look at his fight against [Bryan] Barbarena – he’s fine. He’s nothing special, but he’s in the UFC and every fighter who’s in the UFC should be respected no matter what their skill set because they all have the potential to win. He’s going to beat me eventually, which is his ticket to stardom, he thinks – but, as I’ve done many times, I’m going to go out there and win. I will find a way to win like I always do.