Swords-based outfit, Team KF Martial Arts, headed up by former Cage Warriors middleweight champion, Chris Fields and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, Tom King has released a statement this morning, addressing the split between themselves and recently-minted undisputed welterweight Cage Warriors champion, Ian ‘The Future’ Garry.
Speculation began to mount last Thursday afternoon that Garry had parted ways with his long-time home, as the Portmarnock native remained coy regarding the rumored split, claiming he would address the issue following his vacant welterweight title fight with Jack Grant at Cage Warriors 125 on Saturday afternoon at York Hall.
Whilst claiming he would address the situation following his headliner on Saturday, Garry posted a statement confirming his departure from Team KF on Thursday evening, claiming the facility and coaches “abruptly” stopped supporting him just 10-days out from his title fight with Grant.
“Just ten days out of (from) my world title fight, Team KF Martial Arts abruptly stepped down and they chose to no longer support me,” Garry’s statement read. “I am therefore no longer part of that team. I have remained focused on my fight — only one party has been talking and it’s not me. I believe my actions will speak volumes when I prove myself right yet again on Saturday night.“
“I am excited to step into the Octagon, I feel blessed with the abundance of opportunity put in front of me, I am grateful to all those that stepped up to help me and I look forward to a gold belt and a new journey,” Garry’s statement concluded.
Reports emerged Saturday that the bout between Garry and Grant was in momentary jeopardy, after Garry arrived without a corner team amid his split from Team KF. In place, stepped Cage Warriors featherweight contender, Paul Hughes, and Garry’s manager and partner, Layla Anna-Lee.
Claiming the vacant welterweight championship, the 23-year-old Dubliner took home a unanimous decision (50-45 x2, and 50-44) victory over former lightweight title chaser, Grant — besting the Grimsby veteran on all three judges’ scorecards following a striking masterclass.
Releasing a statement this Monday morning, Team KF confirmed that Garry’s position within the club had become “untenable” following “repeated warnings regarding his behaviour to other teammates and his coaches, that had become distinct since employment of a new manager in March.” The statement claims that since the employment of the new manager, Garry became “uncoachable“.
“This past week Team KF has stayed silent out of respect for the Cage Warriors promotion to minimise any disruption to the fantastic fights that they promote, and also to not interfere with the welterweight title bout on fight week,” The statement read. “We now want to take the opportunity to set the record straight on the back of some statements and insinuations from the current welterweight champion (Ian Garry) and his manager (Layla Anna-Lee).“
“Team KF adheres to a set of ethics and values that are sacred above the needs of any one individual member. Some of the values that we openly promote are loyalty, honour and respect. Where an individual no longer abides by these values, and expects special privileges in regards to their contribution to the club, that individual will be informed that their position as a team member is untenable. No one individual is bigger than the overall welfare and safety of the team.“
“With that in mind, Ian Garry was informed he was no longer a member of the club, after repeated warnings regarding his behaviour to other teammates and his coaches, that had become distinct since employment of a new manager in March. After this appointment he become uncoachable. “This was not a decision that was taken lightly as considerable time and resources were dedicated to Ian’s training, at a cost to the club, since he made his amateur debut a dozen fights ago, up until he attained his world title fight under the tutelage of his coaches, with the support of his teammates.“
“Team KF is drawing a line under the matter, we will return our focus to training even more champions in the future and helping our members achieve their fitness and martial arts goals.“