Daniel Cormier is defending UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards for banning rising contender and outspoken welterweight Ian Garry. While this may seem to be a controversial and underhanded move, Cormier believes that it was warranted.
As UFC 296 approaches, Leon Edwards (21-3 13-2 1 NC UFC) gears up for his title defense against Colby “Chaos” Covington (17-3-0 12-2-0 UFC). Further down the card, Ian Machado Garry takes on Vicente Luque (22-9-1 15-5-0 UFC).
Amidst this, Leon Edwards’ team has barred Garry from training at his Ultimate Training Centre gym. Edwards and his team insist it isn’t anything personal, but that they want to avoid conflict as Garry progresses up the ranks. A situation like the bantamweight division where contenders refuse to fight number-one contenders, as Aljamain Sterling is refusing to fight Merab Dvalishvili.
Daniel Cormier Speaks From Experience
Daniel Cormier spoke on this on his “Funky and the Champ” Youtube show with Ben Askren:
“I was very close to this, right? I experienced it with Cain and then I saw it with Khabib (Nurmagomedov) and Islam (Makhachev). It never became an issue, but we were all day one partners. Where I agree with Len Edwards is this: Ian Garry is a tremendous young talent. He’s a guy that looks like a future world champion. But he’s also a guy that does not have a problem fighting a teammate,” said Cormier.
The former double champion Cormier continued via MMA News: “Ian Garry’s fighting Vicente Luque. Those guys shared the mats at Kill Cliff, one of his actual teams, for years. The moment they were given the opportunity to fight, they took it. I think that may be part of the reason Leon Edwards is going, ‘I don’t know if I want this guy in my gym, learning my skillset, learning what we do as a team. I can’t blame him… By no means is Leon Edwards wrong because Leon Edwards does have (Machado Garry’s) behaviors to look at in the past.”
Both Edwards and Cormier see it as a business decision to prevent the sort of backup that comes from fighting teammates. It also can result in the dissolution of friendships and partnerships, and can cause bad blood between people.
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