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Does Ian Garry’s hype train get derailed at UFC Charlotte? – ‘I’m here to humble him’

Ian Garry is hoping to punch his ticket to the welterweight top 15 when he meets Daniel Rodriguez tomorrow afternoon (Sat., May 13, 2023) at UFC Charlotte live on ABC/ESPN/ESPN+ from inside Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. That is, of course, if Rodriguez doesn’t spoil the Garry hype train and send the Irish sensation packing.

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ALL-ACTION HEAVYWEIGHT BATTLE! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Charlotte, N.C., on Sat., May 13, 2023, for the first time since 2018 with an all-action main event between Heavyweight finishers as No. 9-ranked contender, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, aims to land another signature knockout when he takes on surging No. 12-seeded contender, Jailton Almeida. In UFC Charlotte’s ESPN+-streamed co-main event (also on ABC), No. 5-ranked Light Heavyweight contender, Anthony Smith, faces No. 7 Johnny Walker in a bout guaranteed to deliver fireworks.

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This is a great situation for Rodriguez entering Saturday’s matchup. Not only is the pressure off of “D-Rod” coming into the fight as a sizeable betting underdog, but he doesn’t have the type of hype behind him that Garry does. It’s up to Garry to cash in on his opportunity and prove that he’s as good as he says he is.

For Rodriguez, this is his chance to play spoiler. The welterweight veteran isn’t convinced that Garry is as good as advertised so he’s happy to find out Saturday afternoon.

“I had only heard his name once,” said Rodriguez earlier this week at UFC Charlotte’s media day. “I didn’t really think nothing much of it. The only reason why I took this fight is he called me out on a social media post saying he could outstrike me. So I’m going to hold him to that. … I feel like he’s still very green and young in the game and in the sport. I feel like I’m his toughest matchup to date. He ain’t really fought nobody, really. He’s still young and he needs to be humbled, and I’m here to humble him.

“It’s not really about his skill. I mean, he does have a pretty good skill set. I don’t think he’s ready for it. He’s not a phenom. He’s not knocking dudes out. He’s not like he’s got a little hype off of him. I feel like they’re building him up, and I’m here to take all that away.”

If Rodriguez is able to take out Garry at UFC Charlotte it will give him the notable win he needs to make another run at the top 10. Despite his recent submission loss to Neil Magny in November of last year Rodriguez remains 4-1 in his last five trips to the Octagon. Adding a win this weekend would certainly get him back on track at 170 pounds.

“I see a banger – one (punch) for one (punch), one for the fans,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t believe that he’s been hit as hard as I could hit. I’m a real dog in there, and he’s going to have me in his face the whole time. I could see him backing away and running away from me the whole time.

“His last opponent, (Kenan), I hate to say it, but he’s one of those guys where you’re supposed to beat that guy. I’d destroy that guy if I fought that guy, and (Kenan) dropped him. That just goes to (show) it’s a little suspect, his chin and his experience level. He pulled through that and was able to win the fight, but I think in a situation where he’s fighting a real dog like me – I don’t train to fight. I train to finish, and I’ve got a lot riding on this fight. I’m coming off a loss, and I didn’t fight Gunnar Nelson, but I felt like I’ve been in a fight camp. I’ve been in a real long fight camp and I’m more prepared than I’ve ever been. I’ve been just the most consistent and most dedicated I’ve been for a fight in a long time.

“I don’t put pressure on myself. I say I’ve got a lot riding on this is because I’ve got a lot planned for the future. I’m thinking ahead. I do plan on showing I’m the better fighter. I belong in my position, and he’s not ready for me.”

What say you, fight fans? Does “D-Rod” spoil Garry’s hype train this weekend in Charlotte?

Sound off!

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Charlotte fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 12 p.m. ET, followed by the ABC/ESPN+ main card start time at 3 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Charlotte news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archives here, here, and here. For the updated and finalized “Rozenstruik vs. Almeida” fight card and ABC/ESPN/ESPN+ lineup click here.

This story originally appeared on MMA Mania

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