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Ian Machado Garry sees online hate as sign of UFC career success: ‘Everyone is talking about me’

IRVINE, Calif. – Ian Machado Garry has been under fire in recent months, as many fans have been hurling attacks his way online.

Fighters and fans have criticized the UFC welterweight contender for his personal life, specifically his marriage to Layla Machado Garry. At one point, Garry (13-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) was concerned for the safety of his family amid the online attacks, but is no longer paying attention to the critics and actually sees the hate as a confirmation of his success in MMA.

“I don’t give a f*ck what people want to call me – hero or villain,” Garry said at Wednesday’s UFC 298 media day. “As long as my hand gets raised, and people are entertained and people are talking about me, then I’m doing something right.

“The truth is that there isn’t a single fighter at the moment that’s being more talked about. There’s not a single person whose family has been more talked about at the moment. I’m No. 10 in the world, I’m nowhere near the peak of my career and everyone is talking about me, my wife, my kids, where we’re going, what we’re doing. I’m definitely doing something right, whether it’s hero or villain. Either way, people are talking.”

Garry turned off his Instagram comments, deciding to block the negativity that comes from social media. He’s made sure to be unaffected by the whole thing, as he doesn’t want to give haters any power over him.

“I have no time for people’s opinions,” Garry said. “I don’t give it any time, any focus. I have a job to do. This is what I love to do, this is what I signed up for, and this is what I want to do with my life. I’m not going to let anyone take me away from that.”

Garry returns to the octagon this Saturday against Geoff Neal (15-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) on the main card of UFC 298, which goes down at Honda Center in Anaheim.

Garry says he’s grown plenty these last few months, and that means going back to his roots and falling back on the people closest to him.

“I don’t know if mature would be the right word, I guess you can say that, but it’s understanding what’s important in life,” Garry said. “It’s about pulling the people around you close and giving the ones that care for you that help you every single day to be the best you can possibly can be, to give them your love, your time, your respect, and no one else.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie