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Ian Machado Garry claims he’s agreed to Michael Page fight, targets UFC 303

UFC 298: Volkanovski v Topuria
Ian Machado Garry
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Ian Machado Garry wants to close out 2024 with a bang.

“The Future” has already logged one important win this year, defeating top-ranked welterweight Geoff Neal via split decision this past February to improve to 7-0 in the UFC and 14-0 overall. He then angled for a fight with three-time title challenger Colby Covington in the hopes of earning his own championship shot, but that matchup appears to be dead in the water for now.

Instead, Garry has turned his sights on former Bellator star Michael Page. “Venom” made a successful promotional debut UFC 299, where he defeated Kevin Holland. According to Garry, he’s agreed to fight Page and is waiting for the English standout to respond.

“I’ve said yes,” Garry told talkSport when asked about the possibility of fighting Page. “I’ve said yes to that name. Him and his coaches are deciding because he seems a bit heavy to make weight in seven weeks time, but I’ve said yes.”

Though there’s a UFC pay-per-view in Manchester, England, taking place this July that would make geographical sense for Garry and Page, Garry’s preference is to fight at UFC 303 alongside fellow Irishman Conor McGregor. The former two-division champion headlines the June 29 card in Las Vegas opposite Michael Chandler.

Garry expressed disappointment over the Covington fight not happening as he believes that rivalry would secure him the co-main event spot, but at this point he has accepted that he may have to fight back in the rankings as he’s been unable to secure several matchups, a situation he claims is due to opponents declining to sign a contract.

“There’s so many at this point, you kind of lose count,” Garry said. “I feel like I’ve gone through about eight or nine names. And it’s like, ‘No, don’t want that fight. Not interested.’ The UFC are saying they’re not interested. They’ve offered me Colby. I said yes to MVP. I said yes to Sean Brady. I said yes to, I don’t even know his name, the Uzbekistani guy [Nursulton Ruziboev] if he had won [against Joaquin Buckley].

“I said to yes to Joaquin Buckley. I’ve said yes to every single person that has come my way. That is what I do. Since I’ve entered the UFC, I’ve done nothing different. I say, ‘Yes.’ I say, ‘What date? Where? And when?’”

A bout with “MVP” may not vault Garry to a title shot, but Page’s exciting style and popularity would bring plenty of eyeballs to that matchup should it happen. As frustrated as Garry is with his inability to catch one of the bigger fish in the welterweight division, he believes it’s only a matter of time until they’re forced to make room for the next generation of contenders.

“I think there’s some older guys in the division, guys who are on their way out, on their way down, and they’re trying to maintain and hold their spot so they can have some sort of ego about it,” Garry said. “But the truth is there’s a new wave of talent coming through. When you look at it, you can see it quite clearly. There’s me. There’s Shavkat [Rakhmonov]. There’s Jack Della Maddalena. There’s three examples of younger guys coming in and tearing up the division.

“The champion’s doing his thing. The champ can only fight as much as the champ is able to fight the next best guy, but at the end of the day the champ himself, including the top contenders, they’re only fighting twice a year. I’m looking to do three and four a year. So when I become champion, when that happens, I’m going to continue this consistency. I’m going to take out the next best guy. I want to clear out the division. I want to do it the way Israel [Adesanya] did it, I want to do it better than the way [Kamaru] Usman did it, and by the time I get to the belt, I’ll have taken out six of the top 15 already so there won’t be a lot more to go.”

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