Ian Machado Garry has a big fight on his hands at UFC 296, and after becoming the subject of much conversation on social media over the last week or so, the Irishman has been offered some friendly advice from a UK MMA legend.

Former welterweight title challenger, fight analyst and PFL Europe Head of Fighter Operations Dan Hardy visited with Australian outlet Submission Radio ahead of fight week in Las Vegas, and admitted that he should be on his guard during the set-piece press conference that will take place during fight week in Sin City.

Machado Garry will be joined on stage not only by his opponent, former Kill Cliff FC teammate Vicente Luque, but also UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards, whose team kicked Garry out of the gym, and former interim champion Colby Covington, who will have no qualms about taking aim at the Irishman if the situation arises.

“I think he needs to be very, very cautious about how he approaches this press conference,” Hardy told Submission Radio.

“He has the potential to turn everybody on the stage against him, you know? Of course, you’ve got Colby there, who’s going to get stuck in straight away. I don’t think Leon will. For me, Leon’s too classy for that. If someone comes and starts throwing dirt his direction, then Leon of course will stand his ground.”

Much has been said online about some of the things Machado Garry has said and done in interviews, and on social media, while his personal life has also been dragged into the spotlight.

Nobody wants to see their family become a negative part of the narrative ahead of a fight, and Hardy offered some words of advice after recent episodes that saw legal threats sent to Sean Strickland after comments the outspoken middleweight champion had shared online.

Machado Garry is one of the most talented up-and-coming talents in the UFC, and Hardy said he hopes that the real Ian Machado Garry ends up being front and center as fight week plays out.

“Ian Garry needs to choose his battles,” Hardy said.

“This is again where, you know, the political spin that’s probably kind of being weaved into his mind before he steps onto the stage is going to determine whether he’s got control of the situation or not.

“You read the messages that were sent to Sean Strickland, and I don’t know about you guys, but I didn’t read them in Ian Garry’s voice. I don’t know how much he speaks for himself at the moment, even when he’s sitting on the stage with the mic in his own hand, I still feel like a lot of the words are being put in his head.

“What I would like to see is him sit on the stage and be himself and speak from the heart and tell people where he’s at and what’s actually going on, but I don’t know if we’ll get that just yet.”