Given the nature of the post, which was Luque celebrating his baptism, plus their history as training partners and their friendly chat after the announcement of their UFC 296 booking, Luque was completely caught off guard by Machado Garry’s trash talk.
Luque, a practicing Christian, shared with his followers on Instagram pictures of his baptism, and thanked Jesus. The post was greeted by a comment Luque didn’t’t like.
“December 16th he’ll be standing in front of you tall, blond and all powerful,” Machado Garry wrote.
Luque felt disrespected by Machado Garry, and felt a line was crossed. However, for Luque, this doesn’t change a thing.
“Yeah, it did (surprise me),” Luque told MMA Junkie in Spanish when asked about the comment. “Whoever sees the post, they can see that it was something positive for me, and I was very happy. I believe that if we were trying to keep things professional, he disrespected me because that was something important for me.
“Maybe he also looked at that and thought, ‘If it’s important for him, I’m going to comment there because it’s going to get to him.’ So I don’t take it personally, because at the end of the day we’re going to fight – it doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, someone I respect, an enemy. It doesn’t change. When I get in the octagon, I’m going to do the same, and that’s fight.”
Luque (22-9-1 MMA, 15-5 UFC) and Machado Garry (13-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) meet on the main card of UFC 296 on Dec. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It’s the final UFC pay-per-view for 2023.
Machado Garry has been criticized and getting a lot of hate by many online in the build to UFC 296. Luque is aware of the baggage his opponent is carrying into the fight, but he’s not going to engage in any of it despite feeling disrespected.
“People are who they want to be,” Luque said. “I believe I’m truly truthful to who I am. I speak what’s on my mind, and I try to make it clear to the public who I am. Sometimes there are opportunities that I could use and speak on, but if I don’t have anything nice to say, I’ll stay quiet.
“I think that was this moment. He saw that as an opportunity to trash talk, and maybe he thought that would bring hype for the fight – and maybe it might. Hate is a form of hype. I know many people didn’t like that comment, and they’re talking about it, so maybe for Ian Garry that was the purpose. I do think it’s sometimes it’s best to stay quiet and respect people. That’s how I work. So that did leave me like, ‘OK, up to this point we’ve had mutual respect, but at this moment he did disrespect me and that’s OK.’ If the wants to do that, he can do that. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to stay respectful because that’s who I am and that’s what I want to show people.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 296.