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Ian Machado Garry says that it is impossible to make it to the top of the game without encountering some begrudgers along the way.

The Irishman will seek to improve his perfect professional record to 14-0 this weekend in Anaheim, California when he takes on the ever-dangerous Geoff Neal in a fight which could amplify the Dubliner’s ascent up the 170-pound rankings towards title-contention. But perhaps more than that, it will be an opportunity for Garry to answer his critics — many of whom galvanised online last year on the dark underbelly of the combat sports media with a series of unsubstantiated (and disproven) allegations against the Irishman and his family.

But regardless of what he does in the cage this Saturday night, Garry says that there will always be detractors regardless of the types of performances he displays in the cage.

“I don’t believe any performance that I can go out there and put on is going to silence people,” he told the TNT Sports MMA panel ahead of this weekend’s fight.

“There will always be haters,” Garry added. “The more success you have, the more haters there are. That’s just unfortunately the way the online community is right now, and it’s ridiculous. But, am I going to use that fuel to go out there and put on a performance, to maybe rile them up and f*ck them off a little more then, yeah, why not?

“Why not get under their skin a little bit more and get my hand raised? Why not go out there and body Geoff Neal and stand over his body and just look at everyone around the stadium and see people’s faces? And I just go out there, and I just stand there and go, ‘This is what I do. This is what I do best.’”

Garry, who was forced to withdraw from a scheduled bout with Vicente Luque in December after contracting pneumonia, also noted that his stardom has increased in several countries — Ireland, England, USA and Brazil included — despite not fighting a couple of months ago. This is a factor, he says, that displays his growing star-power.

“The truth is the MMA community should be thankful because everybody’s videos that were posted, that had my name on it, got much more traction, more views,” he said. “Everyone posted about it, everyone talked about it, and the truth is, I guarantee you, go back and look at your videos. Those videos at that time got the most views.

“And you had people talking about me, talking out their ass, not fact checking, not doing anything. The truth is, I’m still going to show up to do my job this time. I’m going to get my hand raised. I’m going up to 14-0 and if anyone has a problem or anyone has anything to say, I couldn’t care less.”

And as he hinted to to the panel, next up after Neal — hopefully, at least — would be a fight against Colby Covington in the co-main of Conor McGregor’s next fight.