Amid a series of fighter health concerns, fans faced a final letdown in 2023 before the UFC 296 pay-per-view on Saturday.
UFC 296, set to occur on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, lost its pay-per-view (PPV) main card opener late last night when Dana White announced that Ian Garry was out of his highly-anticipated 170-pound showdown against Vicente Luque.
The cause? Initially, it was a flu that escalated into severe pneumonia. Presently, Garry is addressing the issue personally.
The sequence of events started with former fighter-turned-analyst Chael Sonnen reporting Garry’s hospitalization after missing media day on Wednesday. UFC CEO Dana White later confirmed the news, shedding light on the rising welterweight’s battle against flu and pneumonia.
Regrettably for “The Future,” he missed both Thursday’s press conference and the chance to showcase his skills in the cage on Saturday night.
The highly anticipated Vicente Luque vs. Ian Garry bout, scheduled as the main card opener, held even more intrigue due to ongoing issues in the Irishman’s personal life.
— danawhite (@danawhite) December 14, 2023
Ian Garry Expresses Disappointment Over Missed UFC 296 Opportunity
Facing health issues, Garry becomes another name in a string of fighters facing setbacks with high-profile bouts recently scrapped, joining the ranks of Jon Jones, Charles Oliveira, and more.
While Garry hasn’t released an official statement, he did chat with well-known combat sports reporter Ariel Helwani shortly after his withdrawal was confirmed.
Helwani shared excerpts from their conversation on social media, shedding light on Garry’s perspective amid this unexpected turn of events.
“I have pneumonia. They tried everything to help me,” Garry is quoted as saying. “In the end, UFC doctor said there’s no chance I can fight. The UFC doctor made the call… This annoys me more than anyone. I want to fight. It’s my favorite thing to do.”
Spoke to Ian Garry moments ago.
“I have pneumonia. They tried everything to help me. In the end, UFC doctor said there’s no chance I can fight. The UFC doctor made the call.
“This annoys me more than anyone. I want to fight. It’s my favorite thing to do.”
FWIW, he sounds…
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 14, 2023
Garry, undoubtedly disappointed by this turn of events, had anticipated a standout showing at the T-Mobile Arena. Amid ongoing discussions about his personal life and gym conduct, this setback adds to his frustration.
The scrutiny faced by fighters when they withdraw from a fight is common. However, Garry’s situation intensifies due to arriving in Las Vegas amidst controversy. Complicating matters further, his opponent, Vicente Luque, is a teammate at Kill Cliff FC, and multiple gym members have openly criticized Garry.
Adding to the complexity is Sean Strickland, who has gathered a group of detractors targeting Garry’s wife.
Seated at the #10 spot, the welterweight now patiently awaits an opportunity to respond inside the octagon. However, with Luque also removed from the UFC 296 card, the much-anticipated clash between Garry and “The Silent Assassin” seems postponed for the time being.