McGregor labels UFC star Garry ‘future champion’ after UFC 285 win
Peter Queally talks Conor McGregor's UFC comeback
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Irish UFC star Ian Garry received high praise from his idol Conor McGregor after his latest win over Song Kenan at UFC 285. McGregor branded Garry a ‘future champion’ as he moved to 11-0 as a pro and 4-0 in the UFC.
Garry survived an early scare in the opening round as he was sent tumbling to the canvas by a well-timed left hook from Kenan but rebounded well to stop the Chinese fighter in the third stanza. Garry dropped Kenan with a flurry of knees and punches as he mauled his foe on the ground before referee Marc Goddard stepped in.
As the contest was waved off, Garry celebrated with the “Billy Strut” and got a nod from his fellow countryman McGregor, who popularized the walk in MMA. “Ian Garry you little daisy,” he tweeted before adding: “I see a champion!”
Notorious is set to return to the cage later this year against Michael Chandler after a lengthy stint on the sidelines. Both men are currently competing against each other as coaches on the latest season of the hit reality television show, The Ultimate Fighter.
The former two-weight world champion last fought back in July 2021 in a losing effort to Dustin Poirier, breaking his leg in the process. He is now back in training and is expected to carry out six months’ worth of drug testing with the UFC’s official anti-doping partner USADA having been out of their testing pool since the third quarter of 2021.
McGregor had hoped to exercise a loophole which would have cleared him to fight after just two clean tests. But USADA has since amended their ruling, with all fighters that wish to return to competition now required to test negative for six months before being given the all-clear.
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The exemption initially stated that the UFC could waive the six-month rule in ‘exceptional circumstances’ or where the rule would be ‘manifestly unfair’ to an athlete. This was exercised back in 2016 to allow Brock Lesnar a quick turnaround against Mark Hunt.
However, the WWE superstar went on to fail a post-fight drugs test and received a one-year ban from the sport as well as a fine in the region of £200,000. UFC president Dana White has been understandably less keen on the exemption ever since.
Meanwhile, Hunt is still pursuing legal action against the MMA giants to this day regarding the matter.
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