Irish prospect Ian Garry offered his entire purse for a short notice replacement at Cage Warriors 106: Night of Champions after his initial opponent, Tayo Odunjo, was forced from the card after he failed to be medically cleared for the event.
The Team KF welterweight even proposed that he would fight at light-heavyweight if Cage Warriors could find a willing dance partner at the eleventh hour, but was unsuccessful in finding a new opponent.
Although he’s just 1-0 as a professional, Garry is one of the most talked prospects in Ireland having graduated to the pro ranks on the back of a stellar amateur career.
According to Garry, he only found out that his opponent would not be able to compete when he received a phone call from head coach Chris Fields as he was going to the airport to travel to the marquee event.
“Chris just called and asked if I was on weight and then he said, ‘Your opponent is out’” Garry told MMA Fighting.
“I didn’t know what to do. Obviously, it’s the first time this has happened to me on such a big stage. Ian Dean [Cage Warriors matchmaker] was looking for someone up until last night, but we eventually knew that nobody was going to take it. And that’s fair enough, I wouldn’t fight me on a day’s notice either.”
Garry highlighted how he told Dean that he would give up his entire purse and fight two divisions higher than his usual 170-pound stomping ground if a late stand-in would sign on the dotted line.
“As soon as I landed in London, I text Ian and I told him that if they got anyone to take the fight, they could take my whole purse as an added incentive. I told him that I didn’t mind fighting with a 16 kilo (35-pounds) gap because I walk around at about 90 kilos (198.5 pounds). As far as I’m concerned, nobody is going to be able to fight me as hard as Chris does in the gym, so I would be confident going in.”
Garry underlined how it would have meant a lot to him to fight on the title-heavy London marquee.
“It’s because it’s this card, Cage Warriors 106, it’s such a huge event. There’s six title fights, it’s easily one of the biggest fight cards in European MMA history. There will be a lot of eyes on this card and I worked so hard. This is the first time I’ve ever had a ten-week camp in the lead up to an event.”
“The weight went perfectly, I just weighed in and I was spot on the welterweight mark,” Garry added. “It’s just devastating that I can’t go in there and show off how good I am, and show people the potential that I have. That guy was going to be a highlight reel, so it’s probably better that he pulled out. I had a few sneaky little things planned and if they had’ve come off, people would’ve been saying, ‘Forget all of the title fights, did you see that Ian Garry fight?”
“It’s like telling a kid that they’re going to Disneyland,” he added. “So you’ve got on the plane, you’ve made the journey and then you get to Disneyland and you find out it’s closed that day!”
If Cage Warriors can facilitate it, Garry wants to fight on both of the promotions upcoming cards, Cage Warriors 107 in Liverpool and Cage Warriors 108 in Birmingham.
“Because I’m so young, I can beat the sh*t out of my body now and get away with it. I’m happy I got to make my debut with Cage Warriors because I feel like if I can string five or six wins together I’ll be in line for a title shot. I’ll have already made my name in the division if that happens. I’d take a fight on Cage Warriors 107 in Liverpool and another one of Cage Warriors 108 if they can make it happen,” he said.
Check out the latest episode of Eurobash for a comprehensive Cage Warriors 106: Night of Champions preview.