Neil Magny: Ian Machado Garry trash talk was used in my custody battle, but no ill will toward him

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Neil Magny won’t hold a grudge against Ian Machado Garry, even after the heated trash talk between them was used as a weapon against him in his recent custody battle.

Ahead of UFC 292 this past August, Magny got into a verbal exchange with Garry where he promised to hand him an “ass whooping,” adding “being a father, I’ve become quite accustomed to that kind of whooping now.” Garry erupted and in return effectively painted Magny as a child abuser.

That led to Magny’s estranged wife using that as ammunition in court proceedings as they fought over custody of their son. Despite that, Magny said he has no ill will toward Garry, because he wouldn’t wish the same thing to happen to him – or anybody else for that matter.

“I hope he never had to go through it, or never has been through it,” Magny said on The MMA Hour. “Going through a separation when you have children involved is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to face throughout my life. That tops every type of experience I’ve had thus far, whether it’s grief, or misery, or whatever else it may be. That kind of experience is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

“It’s truly a difficult situation, where level of intent or the ability you have to actually be a parent to your child is at stake, and somebody else gets to decide how long you can see your children, when you can see your children, all that kind of stuff. It’s a very uneasy feeling.”

Of course, Magny didn’t appreciate that something so personal ended up as fodder for Garry’s trash talk, especially given the stakes surrounding his custody hearing.

“It was a very uneasy feeling,” he said. “To have an opponent take that lightly and make it a gimmick, and some of the things you’re saying in press conferences are being quoted in emails for my partner’s attorney to use in court and that kind of stuff. It was just a very uneasy feeling for me.

“This is beyond fighting. This is my actual life. Forget legacy, forget wins, forget record, forget all that stuff. My sole purpose on Earth is to be the best father as possible to my kids and the things said in that press conference being quoted and being put in a position to use against me in court, that was just an uneasy feeling. I didn’t like it at all. It took a huge toll on me.”

Lately, Garry has been on the other end of very personal trash talk from fighters like Sean Strickland and Colby Covington. Those attacks have often been aimed at his wife, Layla, with Strickland going as far as calling her a “sexual predator” because she’s 14 years older than him.

Whether the verbal assault was aimed at Garry or his family, Magny certainly didn’t wish that upon him, no matter what he had to go through in his own personal life.

“To go through that experience and see what that had the potential of doing, there’s no way I could turn around and say, ‘I wish this person goes through it now,’” Magny said. “That’s just nothing I’d ever want to go through again, nor would I wish anyone else to go through that, especially when you have an innocent child that’s in the middle of it that doesn’t deserve one parent or another being taken away from unjust causes.”

Magny actually wishes Garry and his family the best and offered them words of encouragement.

“With everything that’s happening with him now, I hope he gets to the point where he can figure it out,” Magny said. “At the end of the day, he and his wife have a child that they have to raise as well, and I hope they can figure it out for the sake of their child.

“Going through what I did, and seeing how that affected me personally, to see how it affected my kids personally, I don’t have room in my heart to hold grudges for anyone at that point. I’m just very grateful and very thankful that issue was able to get resolved quickly and didn’t affect my relationship with my children at all.”

As far as his own situation, Magny revealed he didn’t lose out during the custody battle, and he’s thankful that cooler heads eventually prevailed through the whole messy ordeal.

“In the end, I was very fortunate that I had a very rational judge that oversaw my case,” Magny said. “[The judge] understood the total landscape where that kind of criticism and where that kind of stuff was coming from.

“It was a great play by my ex-wife’s attorney, but at the end of the day, I was very fortunately that I have a very level-headed judge that oversaw it all and it didn’t affect his decision at all, as far as allowing me to have 50-50 custody with my children.”

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