Recently signed UFC welterweight and former Cage Warriors undisputed champion, Ian ‘The Future’ Garry has linked up with renowned striking head-coach, Henri Hooft at Sanford MMA in Deerfield Beach, Florida — ahead of a permanent switch to the ‘Sunshine State’ facility.
Garry, who recently put pen to paper on a multi-fight deal to join the Ultimate Fighting Championship in July, parted ways with Graham Boylan-led outfit, Cage Warriors after capturing the vacant championship via a unanimous decision victory over Jack Grant at Cage Warriors 125 in June at York Hall.
The victory marked Garry’s seventh professionally from seven walks, and swiftly after lifting the undisputed championship, released a promotional video on his official Instagram — confirming his move to the Dana White-led, UFC.
The Portmarnock native has progressed to the vacant welterweight championship tournament finale via a massive, highlight-reel high-kick stoppage over UFC alum, Rostem Akman.
Prior to his bout with Grant in June, speculation began to mount that Garry and long-time home base, Team KF Martial Arts in Swords, Dublin had parted ways — with featherweight standout, Paul Hughes cornering the title challenger during his title bout at the Trilogy billed event.
Releasing an official statement in the days following Garry’s decision victory, Team KF leaders, Chris Fields and Tom King had confirmed that the gym had parted ways with the 23-year-old following numerous warnings regarding his “behaviour” toward his teammates and coaches since the employment of new management back in March — claiming that Garry had become “uncoachable“.
“This past week Team KF has stayed silent out of respect for the Cage Warriors promotion to minimise any disruption to the fantastic fights that they promote, and also to not interfere with the welterweight title bout on fight week,” The statement read. “We now want to take the opportunity to set the record straight on the back of some statements and insinuations from the current welterweight champion (Ian Garry) and his manager (Layla Anna-Lee).“
“Team KF adheres to a set of ethics and values that are sacred above the needs of any one individual member. Some of the values that we openly promote are loyalty, honour and respect. Where an individual no longer abides by these values, and expects special privileges in regards to their contribution to the club, that individual will be informed that their position as a team member is untenable. No one individual is bigger than the overall welfare and safety of the team.“
“With that in mind, Ian Garry was informed he was no longer a member of the club, after repeated warnings regarding his behaviour to other teammates and his coaches, that had become distinct since employment of a new manager in March. After this appointment he become uncoachable. “This was not a decision that was taken lightly as considerable time and resources were dedicated to Ian’s training, at a cost to the club, since he made his amateur debut a dozen fights ago, up until he attained his world title fight under the tutelage of his coaches, with the support of his teammates.“
“Team KF is drawing a line under the matter, we will return our focus to training even more champions in the future and helping our members achieve their fitness and martial arts goals.“
Confirming the news of his move to the Florida team this afternoon, Garry posted a video on his official Twitter account, with the caption; “So excited to finally tell you I have joined @MmaSanford to prepare for my @ufc debut — I’m honoured to be part of this legendary team,” Garry posted. “The Future is Bright.“
In the video, which consists of Garry drilling pad work with the aforenoted head-coach, Hooft, he maintains he will stay in Florida on a permanent basis and will travel home to his native Portmarnock for a three-week period over Christmas.
“(I’m) staying here for a while, doing everything here,” Garry said. “It’s too good not to stay here, I mean, it’s too good. Christmas — I’ll go home and I’ll f*ck off back to here and I’ll get ready for training again. But yeah, maybe just about three weeks, that’s it. Other than that, I don’t wanna be at home anymore, I like it here.“
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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