UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards recently spoke out about the swirling controversy involving Ian Garry. He shed light on the situation that led to the rising Irish contender’s departure from his gym.
For the last several months, Garry has become the talk of the town – but it seems like for all the wrong reasons. The story begins with Garry’s claims of being ousted from Team Renegade, where Edwards trains. Garry cited Edward’s alleged fear of competition and being “weak-minded” for his being kicked out.
Since then, a few competitors like Sean Brady and Michael Chandler have come forward with the theory that Ian Garry’s actions in the gym were probably what led to his dismissal.
Addressing the matter head-on, Edwards clarified that the situation was blown out of proportion. While echoing sentiments similar to Brady and Chandler, he noted that Garry struggled to integrate into the gym environment. Garry had also been expelled from multiple gyms prior to this incident.
Edwards stated: “I feel like once he came to the gym, he just didn’t fit into the gym. This is like the third gym now he’s been kicked out of. It is what it is. He’s just a different kind of guy. He’s hard to blend with. Everywhere he goes there’s a camera there. Everywhere he goes, his wife is there, his kid is there. There’s a lot going on.”
“There wasn’t any bad blood. He came out and made it into a big thing and it wasn’t. He’s been kicked out of more gyms than mine. Like why are you making such a big deal out of it?”
It seems like Edwards has a fairly decent notion of why Ian Garry made such a fuss over the matter, in contrast to previous gyms he’s been kicked out of.
He continued: “Because I’m the champion he wants to ride off the back of my coattails and go back and forth with me on social media. It is what it is. You’ve got to focus on yourself. If he does get to the title — does he? I don’t know yet. That’s it. Wish him well. We’ll see what happens.”
Paddy Pimblett added to the controversy by insinuating that Edwards knocked out Garry during their training. Edwards clarified the incident, stating he didn’t knock Garry out but gave him a glimpse of his capabilities.
He stated: “I didn’t knock him out clean, no. He got a little taste [of the Kamaru Usman head kick] for sure.”
Both Edwards and Garry are set to return at UFC 296. Edwards aims to defend his title against Colby Covington, while Garry will face Vicente Luque.
Despite Garry’s undefeated 13-0 record, Edwards believes Garry’s skills aren’t yet at a level to compete for the title. While acknowledging Garry’s progress, Edwards maintains there’s a considerable gap before Garry becomes a substantial threat in his division.
He stated: “Skill-wise, he’s a long way away from even a thought in my brain for competing for a title. Like I said, I wish him well in his endeavors but I feel like skill-wise right now, he’s not a guy I think ‘Oh sh*t, I need to stay away from this guy.’”