Following a great night of fights at UFC 289 in Newark, New Jersey, the UFC Octagon hits the road once more and heads south to North Carolina for UFC Charlotte: Rozenstruik vs Almeida.
One of the hottest prospects makes the octagon walk on Saturday night as Ian ‘The Future’ Garry looks to extend his undefeated MMA record against Daniel ‘D-Rod’ Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, a veteran of the UFC with nine appearances in the organisation along with an appearance on Dana White’s contender series on his resume, will look to derail the hype train of Irish MMA’s brightest young fighter in Garry.
It promises to be an exciting matchup ahead of two excellent fights in the main and co-main, so let’s breakdown this Welterweight battle before giving our official Daniel Rodriguez vs Ian Garry prediction.
Daniel Rodriguez Preview: Don’t Sleep On The Veteran ‘D Rod’
Sometimes when we see these sorts of fights where the UFC is putting their weight behind a young rising star in Garry, it is easy to discount the opposition. Often, the young prospect is handed a few easy fights to pad the record and gain valuable experience in the UFC octagon before what Dana White and co. is a rise to the very top. Daniel ‘D-Rod’ Rodriguez is not one of those fights for Ian Garry.
— UFC (@ufc) May 12, 2023
Primarily a boxer with a stiff jab and excellent movement, Rodriguez can cause Garry some serious problems on Saturday night. With a record of 17-3, Rodriguez was surging in the UFC before his run was derailed last November in a loss to Neil Magny. Before that fight, the American was on a four fight win streak that included victories over Mike Perry, Kevin Lee and Jingliang Li.
Rodriguez likes to stalk his opponents down while throwing huge left hands. He has an excellent combo punch of a left to the liver and right to the chin that has caught a number of previous opponents. He is sound defensively and has never been knocked out as a professional. This shows a solid chin, which will be needed against the power of Garry.
The biggest flaw in his game is his grappling, as shown by Neil Magny. Rodriguez followed the veteran to the mat after hurting him, but after a few scrambles on the ground ended up stuck in a D’arce choke that gave Magny the victory.
Ian Garry Preview: Not The Complete Package Just Yet
Garry is the biggest MMA star to come from the emerald isle since Conor McGregor. The former Cage Warriors champion is a perfect 4-0 since joining the UFC, but it hasn’t all been plain sailing. One could argue that Garry hasn’t matched the hype that has surrounded him thus far in his UFC career, potentially he is a victim of his own hype. Nevertheless, he maintains a perfect professional record of 11-0, but his four UFC opponents to this point have had a combined UFC record of 6-11.
— “The Future” Ian Machado Garry (@iangarryMMA) May 12, 2023
The skills are there for potential UFC champion in the future, the question now is Daniel Rodriguez a step too far for the young Irishman? Garry has crisp striking and great range management which he will need to use in this battle. He typically throws hard but straight shots, but can also catch opponents with fast, flashy high kicks.
The footwork of Garry will be tested by Rodriguez, a southpaw. ‘The Future’ has only fought one southpaw in his four UFC fights, Jordan Williams, who went 0-3 before being cut by the organisation. Even in that fight, Williams had his moments, catching Garry’s chin a number of times before Garry caught him with a flush right hand counter to end the fight late in the first round.
Garry has matured and improved following every fight, but the test Rodriguez will provide on Saturday will be unlike anything he’s had to this point in his career.
Daniel Rodriguez vs Ian Garry Prediction: Who’s Gonna Win At UFC Charlotte?
With the hype that surrounds Ian Garry, it’s no surprise that Vegas has the young Irishman as a solid favourite. The odds currently sit at:
The odds feel disrespectful for a fighter of D Rod’s class and experience. It must be noted that Rodriguez had difficulties on the scale on Friday, with Garry jokingly delivering pizza to the American’s hotel room Thursday evening. Garry then waited to watch Rodriguez weigh in the next day, applauding his opponent after he successfully made weight on the second attempt. Is Garry in the head of his opponent?
The difficulties on the scale raise question marks on Rodriguez coming into this fight. How much has his cut taken out of him? The guy is tough as nails, so we’d guess it won’t have too much impact on the fight. However, if we head into the later rounds it could become an advantage for young Garry.
The biggest question mark of Garry is his suspect defense. Despite never being knocked out, D Rod has the power to end the night early. If Garry has tightened up this area of his game, he has the speed advantage to catch Rodriguez and the volume and power to overwhelm him if he gets into gear. If he has not tighten his defense up, it could be humbling night for the favourite.
Garry To Pass Biggest Test Yet
This is a really intriguing fight. If you like the value bet here, back the underdog Rodriguez. The odds are too good not too. He absolutely has the ability to finish a young fighter with apparent holes in his defense.
However, our official Rodriguez vs Garry prediction is for Garry to come through this great test. He looks more mature after each trip to the Octagon, and this fight could be the statement victory that really legitimises the hype train and turns the heads of many UFC fans around the world. The fans at UFC Charlotte are in for a treat no matter the result.