UFC star Ian Machado Garry, 26, and his wife Layla, 40, are under the spotlight after her 2010 book ‘How to be a WAG’ re-surfaced… here’s how the talented Irishman and TV presenter other half have become talk of the MMA world
- Ian Machado Garry’s wife, Layla, received criticism for a book written in 2010
- Here, Mail Sport takes a look at how the couple became talk of the MMA world
- Cold war! It’s crazy this fight is being staged outdoors in February – The Hook
While Ian Machado Garry would have wanted to focus on his upcoming fight at UFC 296, the Irishman has been making headlines for other reasons of late.
The UFC welterweight star, 26 and his wife, Layla Machado Garry (formerly Layla Anna-Lee), 40, have been the centre of debate in the MMA world in the past week, after online users brought up ‘How to Be a WAG’.
The tongue-in-cheek audiobook released by Layla back in 2010 claims it is a ‘guide to catching the man of your dreams’ – which caused a stir on social media in the past week.
Fans and other MMA stars began giving their two cents on Machado Garry’s relationship with the TV sports presenter, who is 14 years his senior.
Here, Mail Sport takes a look at how the pair have come under the spotlight in the MMA world.
Ian Machado Garry and his wife, Layla, have been the centre of debate in the MMA world throughout the past week
Fans online have commented on the relationship between the UFC star and TV sports presenter – Machado Garry’s other half has a tattoo of his fighter name.
Fans have been interested in Layla’s ex-husband, Richard Cullen (middle right), working closely with Machado Garry as his nutritionist
Despite the upcoming UFC card being headlined by Leon Edwards and Colby Covington, it’s Machado Garry and his wife who have dominated MMA discussions this week.
Many suggested that Layla’s ‘book’ was essentially a guide for gold diggers and also pointed out the fact that the 40-year-old is 14 years Garry’s senior.
However, Layla, who works as a TV sports presenter, took to Instagram to respond to the backlash in a statement last week.
She said: ‘I wrote a book called ‘How to be a WAG’. Now, that statement itself is a little bit of a stretch. I can hardly call myself an author of an 11-page audible-only satire story that was written in 2010.
‘That context is key because that was during the FIFA World Cup when I was working at OK and various different gossip mags. We were creating this hilarious satire and look at wives and girlfriends in football.
‘That satirical book, if you listen to it, is really silly and anybody who takes it as fact has completely missed the mark.
‘At the time, it was a huge success. It went out, it was funny, and people got the joke.’
On Amazon, the description for the book reads: ‘How to be a WAG – the ultimate guide to catching the man of your dreams!
‘The hot new career option is to be a WAG, and we’re here to tell you how to become part of the most prestigious Wives and Girlfriends (WAGs) club.
‘Ever dreamed of walking in the footsteps of the likes of Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Cole, or Coleen Rooney? This guide has everything you need to know!’
Layla took to Instagram to respond to backlash over a book written in 2010
Layla drew criticism after her book titled ‘How to be a WAG’ re-surfaced on social media
The Machado Garrys changed their names to include Layla’s original Brazilian surname and it was previously explained by Megan Olivi on a UFC broadcast.
She said: ‘His wife, Layla, is Brazilian and Machado was her last name. She has a son who also has Machado in his name.
‘And now that she’s expecting a child with Garry, they wanted to make sure that the brothers had a name in common. So that they felt they were allone big family with co-parenting.’
‘So they all added it to their name so that none feels left out.’
By Layla’s own admission, her and Machado Garry’s relationship was only intended as a ‘one-night stand’ but ended up kick-starting something more long term.
In another video that appeared on her social media, she said: ‘I’m one of those girls that’s terrible at being single. I end up in relationships when I didn’t want to.
‘This was meant to be a one-night stand! That was the agreement but we’ve never left!’
Machado Garry, similarly, took to his Instagram account to release a clip from his yet to be released documentary which saw the couple address the recent comments.
In the clip, Garry said: ‘I’m sorry but no… I love you and I will be there for you in so much of life but I have zero time for this s***. If it’s true, I’d sit down and say ‘right, we need to talk about it’.
‘If you were a controlling and manipulative b****, if you had control of my funds, if you were so controlling that I didn’t have a choice, if you were a WAG, if any of these things were remotely true, I’d sit down and have a conversation with you first.
‘But if it’s some fat w***** with a beard talking online and he wants to make a podcast about it, let the **** be’.
Machado Garry and Layla got married in February 2022 before welcoming their son into the world in October last year.
While it’s Machado Garry’s first marriage, Layla was previously married to Richard Cullen, who is the star’s current nutritionist.
A post shared by ‘The Future’ Ian Machado Garry (@iangarry)
Machado Garry and Layla got married in February 2022 before welcoming their first child Leandro to the world in October last year
Layla’s ex-husband Richard Cullen now works as Garry’s nutritionist (Credit: LinkedIn)
Layla shares regular updates from her life with fans on social media
Layla and Richard Cullen got married in 2014 – and had a son – but split up. Following the end of their relationship, she began seeing Garry.
Rumours were also circulating online that suggested that Cullen, who has been part of Garry’s team since 2021, still lived with the couple.
However, Layla also addressed that rumour and quickly debunked it.
‘Some bulls*** things that people have been saying [is] that my ex-husband lives with us. No he doesn’t! And no he never has. You’re just making that up,’ she said.
Machado Garry himself also recently came out and addressed the rumours in a post onto his social media accounts this week.
The welterweight star took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to say: ‘Madness spreading. If it sounds like it can’t be true it probably isn’t.’
Despite stating that the rumours aren’t true, that hasn’t stopped a number of other MMA stars from chiming in and giving their thoughts on the matter.
UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland is one of the combat stars to make numerous comments on the situation, where he labelled Anna-Lee a ‘predator’.
Taking to X, Strickland wrote: ‘Ian Garry’s wife is a SEXUAL PREDATOR. She sought out a young athlete to seduce because she’s getting old and still wanted to be famous.
‘No buddy of fame wanted you so you preyed on a kid… You are and will forever be known as a succubus…’
UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland weighed in on the recent controversy
Layla debunked the rumour that Cullen still lives with herself and Garry
In another post, he wrote: ‘I want to be clear….. I didn’t bring Ian’s predator into this conversation…. He did, when you let her design that shirt of Geof Neil’s mug shot you did.. Be a man shut her up and put her in the kitchen. Act like a b**** get treated like a b****.’
Machado Garry and his wife caused controversy prior to the Irish star’s fight with Geoff Neal – which never came to fruition due to an injury for the American – after the couple printed Neal’s mugshot on T-shirts.
It’s a move that drew backlash from many in the MMA community, with Neal – a long-term fighter in the UFC – being a popular figure within the company.
If Strickland’s comments weren’t enough, Machado Garry will be far from pleased from Dillon Danis’ recent trouble-stirring post on social media.
Danis took to X, earlier this week, to share chat messages from 2018 with the wife of UFC star Machado Garry.
Danis, in the build-up to his crossover boxing bout with Logan Paul in October, developed a reputation for his internet trolling of Paul’s fiancée Nina Agdal.
The MMA star shared several explicit pictures of his rival’s fiancée – some of which appeared to be edited – along with snaps of her cozying up to previous partners.
While he didn’t have the same level of ‘ammunition’ in his attack on the fighter and Layla, the jiu-jitsu star’s latest post will not have sat well with the Irishman.
Danis shared a screenshot of their Instagram messages which showed his wife, sending a ‘praying’ emoji to Danis.
He responded: ‘Where u from’. She replied: ‘England but half Brazilian. How are you today?’. Danis said: ‘Very cool, doing great. Where do you live?’.
Dillon Danis returned to social media to troll the wife of UFC star Machado Garry
Danis shared pictures of an old chat between himself and Layla back in 2018
He captioned the post on X, formerly known as Twitter, by saying: ‘Morning’ with a heart emoji afterwards.
Danis, one day later, then asked his followers: ‘Do I show the rest?’.
Ironically, Danis is a former sparring partner for UFC and Irish legend Conor McGregor, who Machado Garry has often been compared to in the past.
McGregor has previously been labelled as a controversial figure and is reportedly under investigation by Irish police for allegedly ‘inciting hate’ around the Dublin riots, having blasted the country’s government on social media.
Machado Garry linked up with the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion for a quick sparring session back in September.
It came as part of Machado Garry’s preparation for his fight with Vicente Luque at UFC 296 on December 16th, when he will look to extend his perfect 13-0 professional MMA record.
Earlier this month, British star Paddy Pimblett took aim at Machado Garry and shutdown talks of his chances at winning gold in the UFC.
‘The Baddy’ dismissed the idea that Machado Garry could be given a title shot and claimed the Irishman was knocked out by UFC champion Leon Edwards in training – which has been flatly denied by Garry.
Edwards, who defends his title at UFC 296 against Colby Covington, has trained with Machado Garry in Birmingham and could well fight him in the future given the 25-year-old’s rapid rise.
Paddy Pimblett dismissed the idea that Machado Garry should be given a welterweight title shot
‘The Baddy’ claimed that Leon Edwards knocked Machado Garry out in training – which has since been denied
Machado Garry revealed last month that he was cast out of Edwards’ gym, Team Renegade.
When asked about Machado Garry, Pimblett said: ‘Ian Garry doesn’t deserve a title shot, lad, come on. Leon’s already knocked him out in training so we don’t need to know about that.’
Last year, Machado Garry posted a candid video on his social media on the way back from the dentist after Edwards had landed a kick in sparring that hurt his tooth.
Machado Garry denies that the kick knocked him out and recently spoke about no longer being allowed to train at Team Renegade.
He told the Independent: ‘Leon Edwards, his head coach asked me not to come back to Renegade; told me I’m not allowed to train there.
‘Leon and his head coach had an issue with me training on the mats and recently have asked me not to train there, because, ‘Leon doesn’t want any insecurities or doubts on his own mats, within the gym,’ which I don’t fully understand.
‘I get that we’re both in the top 10 and you might see me as a threat, but I’m not a threat to you right now; I’m not fighting for the title right now.
‘His coach said the words: ‘Ian is a threat, I cannot have Leon having any doubts or insecurities.’
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