Bellator have continued their seemingly aggressive acquisition of top tier European talent by picking up arguably one of Europe’s most exciting mixed martial arts prospects, Nathan ‘Dread’ Greyson. As one of the hottest and most outspoken athletes Greyson probably could have signed with an array of organisations. It would appear, as someone who clearly knows his worth. the decision would be made at a time of his choosing and for the oft quoted ‘Violent Money’
‘Dread’ will definitely be at home with Bellator, who confirmed the signing with WHOATV late last night. The promotion has made its intention clear that it fully intends to keep its newly acquired talent busy, a point not missed by the South London resident, “I chose Bellator, besides money, for a couple of reasons,” he tells me. “I felt with them I would stay most active, I only fought once last year and obviously with the government holiday I took I feel I’ve got a lot of lost time to make up. I feel the fans at Bellator, Scott Coker and the company as a whole are going to appreciate me, they are going to let me be myself and respect the violence I bring! Whatever show I am on it’ll be the best show, guaranteed violence!”
Now competing at Bantamweight and no stranger to being thrown in at the deep end it wouldn’t be at all surprising if within a couple of fights Bellator’s euro matchmaker, Jude Samuel, after Greyson’s, grace period to shake off whatever cage rust he may have picked up through inactivity, won’t stop short of serving up some of the premium names to share cage time with him. He’s set to appear on the Bellator Newcastle Feb 9th card when the promotion will launch what promises to be a sustained period of activity that will keep fighters busy.
Arguably close to the top of the ladder as you can get in his weight class is James Gallagher. The style match up with Gallagher and the undeniable beautiful violence it would bring is surely on Greyson’s radar. The fact that it is now a real possibility doesn’t seem to excite Nathan as he explains, “Yeah I want the big fights and he’s a big name but not for his skills, for his team and his mouth. I don’t rate him, you see what happened to him in his last fight, he got slapped about the cage. He’s all bark and no bite. I bite hard! He wouldn’t want it. I see the fight being pure violence from my side and finishing with a KO, as normal.”
Violent Money, a term Greyson has coined, will soon mark his entrepreneurial genius as he has plans to turn this phrase into a lifestyle clothing brand. Whilst on the outside many may see him as brash, ‘hood’ or even slightly intimidating it’s only once you speak with him about the modern day pressures of being young black and ambitious in the UK that you get a real sense of why he refuses to accept crumbs from anyone’s table and that he has his eye firmly fixed on providing for his family. As if to underline the point he explains,”Signing with Bellator is not just about the money but also the respect of what I’m worth. What people have to realise is this is my job, same as any other.”
Greyson has further reflections to submit on the way in which he recently relinquished the Cage Warriors World Flyweight title. It would appear he has grown even larger in stature since putting the smaller regional show behind him and is now poised to realise his full potential. He’s signed, rumours suggest, for violent money but he is at pains to point out money isn’t really the matter, it’s the principle, “Just because we don’t get up early and get on the train or get in a van, we still get up early and go to work! To anyone who said I don’t give a shit and I have no respect, would they go out and work for £1,200 minus expenses for 10 weeks camp in any job construction or office, without the chance of progression or promotion? That’s madness, doesn’t even touch minimum wage and I’m putting my health on the line!
How can you get motivated mentally? You can’t! So a big f–k you to all those who said I’ve done it out of lack of respect! I was the one being shown no respect. I’ll still make it to the UFC if that’s the right move when the time comes but I need money to survive along the way! I’ve been trying my Damn hardest to earn the honest crust and leave my old life behind, but when I was getting offered those peanuts it’s like they were trying to force me to go back, and they call me the criminal!”
A lot of store, largely by Bellator’s detractors, has been put into the assumption that a move to Bellator is seen as the final resting place for an athletes career. Far from it when you look at those who have made it to the UFC with previous stints in Bellator. Ben Saunders, Eddie Alvarez, Hector Lombard and notably Ben Askren to name a few, it’s these names that have given Greyson hope for his ultimate aspiration as he explains, “If the time is right to go to the UFC then that’s where I’ll go, doesn’t matter the weight I’m here to fight and bring the violence, entertain the fans at whatever promotion I’m at.
It feels like I’ve just started a new chapter in my career and I’m ready and motivated again to f–k the whole scene up, the next fight is with Bellator and I’m happy to give their fans the violence they wanna see.
You never know where you end up in life, it’s crazy but as long as I’m respected along the way you’re gonna see why I had to step away from the government cage to destroy anyone in my real cage”