Stephen Thompson: Ian Machado Garry not ‘on the same level’ of striking as Michael Page

Stephen Thompson doesn’t think Ian Machado Garry can stand with Michael Page for the entirety of their UFC 303 fight.

Page (22-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meets Garry (14-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 303 (pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+) main card opener at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Many wanted to see Page fight Thompson next after he defeated Kevin Holland in his promotional debut at UFC 299, but MVP dismissed it as a potentially boring matchup due to their similar striking styles.

Thompson agreed with Page’s analogy. He gives him the advantage over Garry in the striking department.

“Both of these guys are at the highest level, especially when it comes to the striking game,” Thompson said on his YouTube channel. “Now, is it smart for Ian Garry to go out there and just strike with MVP? I don’t think so.

“Even though Ian Garry is a great striker, I don’t think he’s on the same level as Michael ‘Venom’ Page, especially when it comes to the distance management, the blitzing, the speed period. I think Michael ‘Venom’ Page is really, really fast, he’s very accurate, and very versatile. But I think Ian Garry is a very intelligent fighter.”

Thompson advises Garry to utilize his grappling if he wants to find success against Page.

“If I was him, I would be mixing it up,” Thompson said. “Not just striking, but obviously working my grappling, trying to lay and hang on this guy against the fence if I can, looking for my takedowns if it’s there, just to try and somehow fatigue this guy.”

Ultimately, Thompson picks Page to beat Garry. Although he thinks it’ll be hard, “Wonderboy” thinks Page can knock him out.

“I’m definitely leaning towards my man Michael ‘Venom’ Page,” Thompson said. “It’s going to be exciting. I do think if MVP touches Ian Garry on that chin, I think he’s going to be able to put him out.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie