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Ian Machado Garry didn't want to fight someone ranked below him at UFC 303

Former Bellator welterweight standout Michael “Venom” Page made his octagon debut in March at UFC 299, defeating Kevin Holland via unanimous decision.  For his second UFC fight, kicking off the UFC 303 main card on Saturday, Page is pitted against seventh-ranked Ian Machado Garry.  

Page (22-2) will enter the fight ranked just inside the Top 15 and will be looking to hand Garry his first career loss.  Garry (14-0), is ranked seventh in the division and wasn’t thrilled about being matched up against a fighter ranked below him.

“I’m still not interested in it (the fight with Page),” Garry told The MMA Hour five days before he’s set to make the walk to the octagon at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  “I have no interest in it.”    

“Here’s the way that I look at it.  I’m undefeated.  I’ve beaten everybody put in front of me in the best way I believe I can.  And I go out there and get my hand raised any way, shape, or form possible.  That is my job.  When I do that, I fight up because my goal is to be the world champion.  

“I’m looking at the guys above me.  I’m looking at the six or seven guys ahead of me.  There’s Gilbert [Burns].  There’s Shavkat [Rakhmonov].  There’s Jack Della Maddalena.  There’s Colby [Covington].  There’s [Kamaru] Usman, Belal [Muhammad], and Leon [Edwards].  All I’ve done in my career is win.  I deserve to fight one of those guys,” Garry continued.  “I have to fight one of those guys because that is my projection.  I’m on a projection of being one of the world champions.  I’m on a projection to be one of the biggest stars the sport has ever seen.  I have no interest in fighting below me.”

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Garry had to change the way he looked at the fight against Page.  He realized that once a champion, he’ll simply have to fight whoever the top contender is regardless of where they are ranked.  

“I still have no interest in fighting Michael.  I have no interest in fighting him,” Garry said.  “I wanted to kind of realign my focuses and everything like that.  The shift of energies and the shift of focus for me is when I get that belt wrapped around my waist I’m going to be fighting whoever the people believe is the next best guy worthy of that title shot whether he’s (ranked) 1, whether he’s 2, whether h’s 6, or if he’s 9 in the world.  I want to put on those shows.”

“This is the first time I’m stepping into an octagon with that championship mentality of I am better than you.  I’m going to prove it and that’s all my job is, is to go out there and prove that there is a reason why you’re ranked below me.  There’s a reason I’m ranked higher than you.  And now I’ll go out there and completely outclass MVP in any way, shape, or form necessary to get my hand raised,” Garry continued.  

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