Paul Hughes Recalls Being Ian Machado Garry’s Sole Cornerman for a Night

Ian Machado Garry fought for a title in Cage Warriors in 2021 without a coach in his corner, but was assisted by Paul Hughes, who stepped in to help him, leading to Garry’s unanimous decision win.

Ian Machado Garry. Remember that name? Yeah, that guy who walked into the cage on the most significant night of his career, ready to fight for a title. And guess what? Not a single coach in his corner. Crazy, right?

That was back in 2021, Cage Warriors. It was Garry’s final test before joining the UFC roster. But, uh-oh, a nasty split with his former coaches at Team KF left him without any corner support for his five-round bout against Jack Grant.

Lucky for him, Paul Hughes was in the house. He was there to back one of his teammates also competing at Cage Warriors. Hughes and Garry? They were already pals. So when Garry, the future UFC welterweight contender, needed a wingman, Hughes was game.

Hughes, who recently signed with PFL, was like, “I think he just needed somebody to actually stand in his corner.” He shared this on The MMA Hour. “I think he would have just done it by himself if he could have, fair play to him. I think he needed somebody in his corner for whatever reason that was.”

Hughes was in town as his teammate Joe McColgan was fighting for a world title. So when Garry asked, “Any chance you can step in?” Hughes was all, “Yeah, absolutely. Of course.” He wouldn’t leave someone hanging like that.

Hughes hadn’t spent much time around Garry as a fighter. But he didn’t hesitate when asked about cornering him that night. The title fight? It went on for 25 minutes. Hughes was there, helping between rounds, until Garry clinched a unanimous decision win.

Hughes and Garry didn’t have a coach-fighter or even a fighter-teammate relationship. But Hughes wouldn’t have let Garry walk out there alone. He’s even stepped in to corner a fighter at the last minute before, including someone he’d never met.

“It’s the least I could do,” Hughes said. “When I was in Amsterdam cornering [one of my teammates], some guy showed up with no corner. He was like ‘I need a cornerman.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.'”

Hughes and Garry? Still friends. Garry even advised Hughes to train with his current team at Kill Cliff MMA in Florida. That’s the home base for fighters like Michael Chandler, Gilbert Burns, Jason Jackson, and Shavkat Rakhmonov.

Ian Garry was training there for a while, obviously I’m friends with him,” Hughes said. “So he was like, ‘This is the spot, you’ve got to get out here.’ That gave me more incentive to go out and try it out.”

Hughes is now prepping at Kill Cliff for his upcoming debut at Bellator Dublin, set for June 22.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -