UFC champion Leon Edwards gives his side of Ian Machado Garry gym dispute

UFC champion Leon Edwards has opened up on the decision not to allow Ian Machado Garry back to his gym, as both welterweights prepare to fight on the same card.

In October, Machado Garry revealed exclusively to The Independent that he had been asked not to return to Team Renegade in Birmingham, claiming that Edwards and his coach made the decision due to “doubts and insecurities”.

Ireland’s Machado Garry, 26, has trained at numerous gyms in recent years and has simultaneously gone unbeaten as a professional. Renegade told The Independent: “[His] more nomadic approach to preparation has given him great results, but it’s not in line with what we are creating at Team Renegade”.

Edwards, Britain’s second UFC champion ever, has now reiterated that suggestion. In a TNT Sports interview with retired Manchester United and England footballer Rio Ferdinand, the 32-year-old said: “[Him being in the same division] wasn’t the reason; that’s the reason he said.

“The culture in the gym that we’re trying to build... Even though I’m a world champion, I still abide by the same rules as the amateurs. The difference with Ian was that, when he came in, he’d bring his camera with him and bring his girlfriend [wife] with him. He was late to the sessions.

“There was a lot going on, so the coaches and the team decided: ‘We wish you well on your journey, but your culture doesn’t fit our culture.’ That’s the third gym now that he’s been kicked out of. There’s a reason why.

Machado Garry will fight Vicente Luque on the same night as Edwards’s next title defence (Getty Images)
Machado Garry will fight Vicente Luque on the same night as Edwards’s next title defence (Getty Images)

“Once one [person] starts slipping, you feel: ‘Okay, if he can do it, I can do it. If he ain’t cleaning the mats, then I ain’t cleaning the mats.’ Eventually it breaks the team down.”

Edwards is set to defend the welterweight title against Colby Covington on 16 December, in the main event of UFC 296 in Las Vegas. Earlier in the night, Machado Garry will fight ex-teammate Vicente Luque.

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