Ian Machado Garry Agrees to Michael Page Fight, Aims for UFC 303

Undefeated UFC fighter Ian Machado Garry has expressed interest in fighting former Bellator star Michael Page, after a potential match with Colby Covington fell through, and is waiting for Page to respond to the challenge.

Ian Machado Garry is determined to end 2024 on a high note. Known as “The Future,” he’s already bagged an important victory this year. He took down top-ranked welterweight Geoff Neal in a split decision this past February. This win boosted his UFC record to 7-0 and his overall record to 14-0.

He had his eyes set on a fight with three-time title challenger Colby Covington. Garry hoped that a win against Covington would earn him a shot at the championship. However, that matchup seems to be off the table for now.

So, who’s next on Garry’s hit list? Former Bellator star Michael Page, or “Venom” as he’s known in the ring. Page had a successful promotional debut at UFC 299, where he defeated Kevin Holland. Garry says he’s agreed to fight Page and is now waiting for the English fighter’s response.

“I’ve said yes,” Garry revealed in a talkSport interview. He’s given the green light to fight Page. Now, it’s up to Page and his coaches to decide. Garry mentioned that Page seems a bit heavy to make weight in seven weeks, but he’s ready to go.

There’s a UFC pay-per-view event happening in Manchester, England, this July. It would make geographical sense for Garry and Page to fight there. But Garry’s preference is to fight at UFC 303 alongside fellow Irishman Conor McGregor. McGregor, the former two-division champion, is headlining the June 29 card in Las Vegas against Michael Chandler.

Garry is disappointed that the Covington fight isn’t happening. He believed that rivalry would’ve secured him the co-main event spot. Now, he’s accepted that he might have to fight back in the rankings. He’s been unable to secure several matchups, which he claims is due to opponents declining to sign a contract.

“There’s so many at this point, you kind of lose count,” Garry admitted. He’s gone through about eight or nine names, and it’s always the same response: “No, don’t want that fight. Not interested.” The UFC isn’t interested either. They’ve offered him Colby. He said yes to MVP. He said yes to Sean Brady. He even said yes to 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 catapult Garry to a title shot. But Page’s exciting style and popularity would draw plenty of attention to the matchup. Garry is frustrated with his inability to catch a big fish in the welterweight division. But he believes it’s only a matter of time until they 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. We’re the younger guys coming in and tearing up the division.

“The champion’s doing his thing. The champ can only fight as much as he’s 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. 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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