Ian Garry exclusive: Conor McGregor is 'the biggest star there's ever been in the sport'

Ian Garry

Meet Ian Garry, the MMA fighter who has been dubbed Ireland's next Conor McGregor after sending social media into a frenzy with a highlight-reel knockout.

Garry (6-0), 23, of Dublin, Ireland, will face England's Jack Grant (17-6) in the main event of Cage Warriors 125, which takes place on Saturday night at York Hall in London, with the vacant CWFC welterweight title on the line. 

But the undefeated Irishman insists he isn't at all fazed by the big occasion and as far as he is concerned the bigger the better. 

"The future is inevitable," Garry exclusively told GIVEMESPORT. "Phil Campbell called me 'The Future' on my amateur debut and it was brilliant. 

"I dropped the right hand, hit my opponent with the left hook, 61 second knockout, and as I walked by him on commentary, I heard, 'Ladies and gentlemen, have we just seen the future?'

"And I walked over and said, 'Welcome to the new age boys.'"

1 of 20
p1err1pmimqdj1tnh15vt1s1c1kb83.jpg

Where was Conor McGregor born?

And on comparisons with a certain Irishman known as 'The Notorious', Garry added: "I'm absolutely fine with being compared to Conor. He's the biggest star there's ever been in the sport who more or less completely changed the game and brought more eyeballs to mixed martial arts.

"Look, he's also a lad from Dublin, from Ireland, who's gone on to do amazing things in his life We're two different people but we're on the same path, and if you guys want to compare me to one of the biggest stars of all time, I'm going to take it and run with it 

"I was absolutely buzzing the time he followed me on social media after my pro debut. I was sitting there at the kitchen table, I had a broken hand, and I asked my sister to cut my pancakes for me when a notification popped up on my phone. And she was like, 'f--- off', and I said, 'yeah, I'm kind of a big deal now.'" 

Ian Garry

Like his idol McGregor, the enigmatic star also knows how to captivate an audience. 

Garry booked his place in the final of the welterweight tournament with a hugely impressive stoppage victory over former UFC fighter Rostem Akman at Cage Warriors 121 in London. 

All but one of Garry's six victories have come via stoppage, with five opponents failing to last the full three rounds.

With his well-rounded skill set, the 23-year-old is proving to be a real handful at 170 pounds.

However, Garry knows he is facing a formidable opponent in England's Grant (17-6), 29, who twice unsuccessfully challenged for the title (albeit at 155 pounds) against Jai Herbert and Agy Sardari respectively but bounced back with a stunning second-round submission of 'Latvian Express' Madars Fleminas, a former sparring partner, in March. 

The Team KF MMA product made it a point to say how much he respects Grant but ultimately believes he can finish the fight whenever he feels like it. 

"I think Jack is a brilliant athlete, I think he's a great competitor, I wouldn't say we're best mates but I do quite like the guy," Garry said. "But I'll sub him, if he tries to make me to the ground, I'll sub him. I'm better than him everywhere.

"I'll stop him. I think he's going to be extremely grappling heavy, because if he stands on the feet with me, he's gonna [sic] get lit up. 

"So I think he's going to dive for a leg, it'll be very similar to the Jai Herbert fight, he's just going to rush out and try to grab a hold of me." 

Cage Warriors 125 will be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass. For further information, visit the Cage Warriors website at www.cagewarriors.com.

News Now - Sport News