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Say what you will about Ian Garry but he certainly isn’t lacking for confidence. 

The Dubliner increased his UFC record to a perfect 8-0 (15-0 overall) at Saturday night’s UFC 303 in Las Vegas, coming close to securing a first-round rear-naked choke finish against Michael ‘Venom’ Page in the first before two more closely-contested rounds were eventually appraised one-apiece by the cageside judges and handing Garry a 29-28 win on the cards.

The win, just the third defeat of Page’s 25-fight career, didn’t necessarily come with much of the bells and whistles that Garry had predicted. Page, 11 years Garry’s senior, appeared to be the quicker of the two and had more success on the feet but the grappling heavy approach employed by the Dubliner effectively nullified the ten-time world kickboxing champion’s strengths.

But despite what many saw as a lacklustre performance, Garry told the media post-fight that this was just another step on his path to being considered among the most iconic athletes in the sport’s history.

“I am on my road to destiny to be one of the greatest of all time,” he told the press, including The Mac Life, moments after his win.

“I’m going to do that by any means necessary, and I don’t care how it gets done. In ten years time, my name is going to be in that GOAT conversation. Who’s the greatest of all time? You’re going to say Jon Jones, GSP, Anderson Silva, Ian Garry.”

He added: “I’m going to have my name in that conversation because it’s opinion-based. If you’re Brazilian, you’ll say Anderson Silva, if you’re American, you might say Jon Jones. We could all sit here and have all of our opinions. As long as my name is in that conversation, I’ve had a successful career.”

Garry, ranked seventh going into the bout, will face sterner tests moving forward. One he said he was anticipating was that of the 18-0 Shavkat Rakhmonov, a former training partner of Garry’s at Kill Cliff FC in Florida.

“Shavkat [Rakhmonov], 18-0, undefeated,” he said. “I’d love to get my hands on him. I’ve trained with him. I have nothing but respect for the guy, but I want to be the first guy to take his ‘0,’ and I know I can do it.

“I’ve just beat the fastest guy in the division other than me. When it comes to the striking and skill set, I can do it. When it comes to the grappling, we’ve seen the growth that I have. I’m excited to go out there and prove it against someone like him.”