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Ian Machado Garry believes he’s ‘carrying’ UFC 292: ‘I’m the superstar on this card’

Ian Machado Garry is here to save UFC 292.

At least, that’s how the brash Irishman put it when asked about his upcoming fight against Neil Magny on Saturday’s pay-per-view event in Boston. The card is headlined by a pair of title defenses, with bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling fighting the popular Sean O’Malley and two-time strawweight champion Zhang Weili seeking the first defense of her second title reign when she faces Amanda Lemos.

Even with that star power at the top of the lineup, Machado Garry thinks the UFC is lucky to have him around.

“I believe that I am carrying this 292 card on my back, and that if it wasn’t for me, this card would go down the drain,” Machado Garry said on The MMA Hour. “With the opponent change and everything, at the end of the day, I’m just happy the fans get to see me, because I know there’s a lot of Irish and Brazilian support in Boston that are excited to have me there. I’m glad the fans get to watch me live in action.”

Machado Garry was originally scheduled to fight Geoff Neal on Saturday, but the top-ranked welterweight was forced to withdraw for undisclosed reasons. Instead, he faces another ranked opponent in the long-tenured Neil Magny, who owns the UFC record for most wins at 170 pounds with 21.

Due to his Irish heritage and having recently spent time training in Brazil, Machado Garry expects to get the loudest reception of all the fighters competing at TD Garden.

“For sure,” Machado Garry said. “I’m Irish. I’m fighting in Boston. They have a massive Irish contingent. I’ve just been in Brazil the last two and a half months, [and] the biggest contingent of Brazilians is in Massachusetts and Boston.

“This is the stage, the platform where I go in there, and you say it, you’ve got the likes of Sean O’Malley and Aljamain and all these guys, that I’m the superstar on the card. It happened in the last fight, it’s happening this fight, the wheels are in motion. I just have to show up and do my thing, and the world will see.”

Machado Garry, a former Cage Warriors welterweight champion, has impressed in five UFC appearances, defeating all of his opponents with three of his wins coming by way of knockout. The 25-year-old is undefeated in 12 pro bouts.

Should he get past Magny, Machado Garry expects a top 10 opponent to be next.

“‘Wonderboy’ [Stephen Thompson], Colby [Covington], [Kamaru] Usman, Khamzat [Chimaev], Belal [Muhammad], Kevin Holland’s coming up, he’s going to get a fight soon,” Machado Garry said.

“There’s so many people, the entire top 10 is something that excites me. I’m about to break into the top 10 now, Saturday night, I’m going to beat Neil Magny in beautiful fashion, and then I’m in the top 10. I’m in the top 10 in such a short amount of time that every single possible matchup that you can put me in is absolutely ridiculous.”

It won’t just be any name that Machado Garry throws out – he first wants to do his due diligence before his next callout. After defeating Daniel Rodriguez this past May, he called for a fight with Magny, who at the time was already booked to fight in June.

In this case, events unfolded in Machado Garry’s favor so that he eventually ended up booking the matchup he wanted. But “The Future” doesn’t want to take any chances going forward.

“I have to wait and see if there’s other people that are being in talks,” he said. “This is the thing when you get to the top 10. There’s only a certain amount of fights you can call out because other people are matched. For example, Khamzat’s up at middleweight. You’ve got [UFC welterweight champion] Leon [Edwards], everyone thinks Leon’s going to fight Colby. Who’s Belal going to fight? Gilbert [Burns is] out injured. Who’s Shavkat Rakhmonov going to fight? Who’s [Sean] Brady going to fight? Who’s Wonderboy going to fight?

“You hear all these talks, I need to talk to my people and find out who is linked, because I don’t want to call someone out and have that fight not come to fruition. I have my people that I want to call out, and I’m going to make it happen. When I win, I know who I want. So let’s wait until Saturday night, and you’ll see. Trust me, it will be worth it.”

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