Emerging reports highlight an intense rift between rising welterweight contender Ian Garry and reigning UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards.
Reigning UFC welterweight champion Edwards will defend his title against Colby Covington in the main event at UFC 296 on December 16, 2023. Also, unbeaten welterweight Ian Garry will square off against Vicente Luque in the same event. Garry recently said that he had been denied access to the Team Renegade facility, where Edwards is training prior to UFC 296.
Ian Garry often trains at Team Renegade in UK. In addition, the emerging Irish welterweight talent works out at the Florida-based Kill Cliff FC camp.
Garry said in an interview with The Independent that Dave Lovell had barred him from the Team Renegade facility. Lovell is the head coach of UK mixed martial arts star Leon Edwards.
Garry asserted that Lovell took this action in order to prevent “Leon having any doubts or insecurities.” He hinted that Lovell and Edwards’ team saw Garry as a potential challenger to the current champion.
Additionally, Paddy Pimblett is a lightweight from Liverpool who will face Tony Ferguson at UFC 296. He recently spoke to Sky Sports and offered his opinion on who would be a good opponent for Leon Edwards in a potential 2024 UFC Wembley event.
Ian Garry was one of the names the interviewer mentioned. Pimblett claimed that Edwards had already successfully knocked Garry out, albeit in training.
He said: “No, Ian Garry doesn’t deserve a title shot. Come on. I mean, Leon’s already knocked him out in training, so we don’t need to know about that.”
Upon being questioned whether he had heard that, Pimblett replied: “Yeah. That’s what I’ve heard.”
Ian Garry himself revealed how Leon Edwards delivered an identical kick to his own face and prompted him to see the dentist.
The aftermath of the kick and the accompanying anguish was clearly seen in a video that Garry posted on his Instagram account.
Garry’s wife Layla Anna-Lee joined him at the dentist. She was shown in the video making jokes and humorous inquiries regarding the event.
Garry answered: “We went to the hospital this morning because for the last two days I’ve been in excruciating pain. S**t’s f**king shooting up through my face from my teeth.”
He went on to say: “Anyone watch the Leon Edwards and Usman fight..anyone know how that went? One of the best head kicks in the UFC. I might have felt what that kick felt like on Wednesday morning. So yeah, Leon I’m blaming you for my tooth f**king pain.”
Earlier this month, Ian Garry attended the ceremonial weigh-ins for Almeida vs. Lewis. He bumped into Gilbert Burns, his training partner with Kill Cliff FC.
In a dialogue with Burns, Garry took a swipe at Leon Edwards, saying: “Because Leon’s a b***h and kicked me out of the gym.”
Responding to Garry’s allegations, representatives from Team Renegade clarified that the rift stemmed from Garry’s unconventional training style not aligning with the team’s culture.
According to their statement, “Ian Garry’s more nomadic approach to preparation has given him great results, but it’s not in line with what we are creating at Team Renegade. This has nothing to do with one specific fighter or a specific coach.”