Bellator stages the first of many upcoming shows as part of their new European series on Saturday 9th February 2019 at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. They are looking to become a major player on the domestic scene and have set out their intentions by booking a stacked fight card filled with some of the UK’s best upcoming talent. Among many of the names familiar to UK fans on the card is Nathan Rose (6-1) who will be competing against Ranjeet Baria (3-0) in a featherweight bout as part of the evening’s preliminary action.
Rose last competed back in March of last year when he earned a unanimous decision victory against David Khalsa at BAMMA 34. Due to many of the BAMMA staff moving over to join the Bellator Europe team, including matchmaker Jude Samuel, it was no surprise that Rose was one of many on the roster who made the move over as well. During that fight, Rose showed off a well rounded game that combined slick stand up with crafty elbow strikes, solid transitions on the ground and vicious ground and pound. Not everything went the Londoner’s way during the fight though as he picked up an injury which meant he had to adapt his approach to the contest.
“In my last fight against Khalsa I broke my hand in the first round so it forced me to show other sides of my game that I don’t really show,” said Rose. “I was surprised that he recovered from quite a few good shots, especially on the ground which shows what a tough person he is.”
That fight would be Rose’s only appearance of 2018 partly due to the injury he suffered but also because of his transition from BAMMA to Bellator Europe. This was frustrating for the featherweight as he is always training and doesn’t take time off. “The main reason for only fighting once last year was because of the hand which forced me to be out for around 5 months until I could get clearance from the doctor. I was offered a few fights that I had to decline because I wasn’t medically fit,” Rose stated. “Also, towards the end of the year, I signed for Bellator so I’ve just been waiting for a fight basically.” He went on to say that he is very happy to be working for Bellator as they are very professional and look after their fighters. In the build up to his debut, Rose has upped every part of his training and worked on becoming a more complete MMA fighter.
Following the closure of Lion’s Pride gym a while back, Rose was forced to look elsewhere for regular training but he is still with the same coaches and teammates from his old gym. Dino Miringou remains his head coach and he also trains under Ricardo Di Silva at Nova Forca as well as visiting Bounce gym.
UFC fighter Jimi Manuwa can always be found in Rose’s corner during fights and it is clear that the light heavyweight has played a key part in Rose’s life. “Being around Jimi is a big positive for me because we come from the same area and have similar pasts. This shows me that it is possible to make it to the very top of MMA and he always pushes me to be the best athlete I can be. He has had a big impact on my career and is a good friend,” Rose said.
His opponent, Ranjeet Baria, has won all three of his fights by first round TKO and has only amassed around three and a half minutes of cage time in his professional career. However, Rose doesn’t believe that his competitor’s experience levels will have much of an influence on the fight. “I take all of my opponents very seriously. I’ve seen that he has had little cage time but that is only at the pro level. He had been fighting for a few years before that.”
Rose then went on to make a bold prediction. “I’m going to crush Ranjeet Baria. The good thing about him having won all of his fights by stoppage is that he should be confident and come out to fight. I’m hoping that means he won’t run or try to hold my legs for the whole fight.”
Over the course of this year, Rose wants to become a highly ranked featherweight and stay injury free so that he can put those woes behind him. He ends the conversation by laying out another of his ambitious plans. “I want to have four fights this year and hand out four beatings!”