This past Saturday in the featured prelim at UFC 273, we saw two welterweight prospects go head-to-head. Ireland’s Ian Garry (9-0) was making the walk for the second time as he took on Darian Weeks (5-2).
Heading into this fight, there’s been a ton of hype behind Ian Garry. The Irishman is trying to follow in the footsteps of Conor McGregor, but admittedly, he’s trying to do things a little different. That’s why he refers to his rise to the top as “The Takeover Part 2”.
Garry made his UFC debut back in November at UFC 268. In front of a sold out Madison Square Garden, Garry got a first round knockout over Jordan Williams. After the win, Garry was itching to get back in there.
The promotion has shown no signs of wanting to rush Garry and that was proven with his second fight. Darian Weeks is solid, but he’s no where near being a ranked welterweight. Honestly, it’s a good thing that Garry didn’t fight someone near the rankings.
The 24 year old didn’t look nearly as polished in this one. Weeks was able to take his power shots and was able to make the fight a little dirty. Now, Garry did a good job of showing off his full arsenal, but I don’t think anyone walked away blown away from his decision win at UFC 273.
What’s next after UFC 273?
This was a very solid win for Garry and it was good to see him get his second win in the UFC. That being said, I think he needs to pump the breaks on the comparisons between himself and Conor McGregor given the performances.
No disrespect to Darian Weeks, but Weeks is not Max Holloway. Holloway was McGregor’s second fight in the UFC. However, it’s important to remember Holloway wasn’t the same guy when he fought McGregor the first time. He only had 9 professional fights.
Garry is a very solid prospect, but he doesn’t have the same shine that McGregor did. Maybe it’s because some view it as imitation? Not entirely sure, but it’s going to take him more leg work to move up the ranks than it did Conor or Khamzat Chimaev.
Granted, Khamzat Chimaev walked through competition to rise through the ranks quickly. I firmly believe Ian Garry will be a top UFC welterweight one day, but it’s going to take some time with incremental steps up in competition.
With that in mind, who should be next? Well in looking at the roster, I think a fight with Philip Rowe makes a ton of sense. Rowe has won back-to-back fights and I think he’d give Garry another solid test. If he can win that one, then we can talk about another jump up in competition.