In continuing with our goal of representing the North Carolina MMA scene to the fullest, MMA4Real had the chance to catch up with Allen "The Hedgehog" Greenway. Allen will be fighting in the main event of the Elite Championship Cagefighting event in Lenoir, NC, on February 7th. Allen talks to us about how he got into MMA, being unusually tall, and sends a message to his upcoming opponent.
Kelvin Hunt-Allen, I’d like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us. Tell us a little about Allen growing up, and how you got into MMA?
Allen Greenway-I am originally from a small town called Woodruff, SC. Where everyone knows everyone. You couldn't tell by looking at me, but I am a mean trumpet player and was in the marching band for 5 years. I grew up with my younger brother of 5yrs, that also became a fighter but recently joined the Air Force. I've always been a competitive person and needed a outlet for the streak as I got older. Just watching the fighters back then I was inspired by what they did, and always loved the fact of maybe one day getting paid to do that.
Kelvin Hunt-Ha! I've been through Woodruff before! Were you into other sports growing up or did you always know you had a little bit of fighter in you somewhere?
Allen Greenway-I have always been an athlete as I played football, baseball, hockey and I played soccer all through school even went to college on a soccer scholarship. But I have enjoyed growing up watching PRIDE and UFC. I knew it was something I always wanted to pursue. I started training around the age of 12 and when I turned 18 I began fighting.
Kelvin Hunt-You have to be a pretty good athlete to play all those sports. Who do you train with and what does a normal training day consist of for you?
Allen Greenway-I was training out of Champion Muay Thai for the past year, Rick is an excellent Muay Thai Instructor I feel I have learned a lot from him in the past year. I recently opened my own school in Hickory, NC called Elite Combat Systems and I love every minute of it. I have some of the greatest guys to train with here so I am happy where I am right now. Training for me is a daily routine starting at 4:00 in the afternoon and not finishing up till 10:00 at night sometimes even later. Now that I am a teacher I do everything for jiu-jitsu, muay thai, cardio, and sparring everyday. Its a lot of work but I wouldn't trade it.
Kelvin Hunt-6 hours is a long time! You were on a bit of a roll winning 4 in a row, and finishing all 4 opponents prior to losing your last fight. What did you learn from the experience and would you like to avenge that loss?
Allen Greenway-Well winning is always great! As for the loss I knew going it to that fight having to fight a close friend of mine for a belt was not going to be easy. He wanted it just as bad as I did, but I know I will never fight a friend again it's to hard for me to do. As for avenging a loss, I never like to lose and don't plan on losing anymore so I would hate to be the next person that fights me.
Kelvin Hunt-Speaking of who you'll be fighting next. You will be facing Brian Whitaker at the Elite Championship Cagefighting card on February 7thin the main event. He’s undefeated and has ended both of his fights inside of 1:05 of the first round. What do you expect from Brian, and how do you see the fight ending?
Allen Greenway-Brian is a tough guy I will say, but he is nothing I haven't been faced with before. I know Brain is a great wrestler and he has good hands on the ground. Rumor has it that I've heard I will be used as their "EMO PINATA" and I would like to say if he decides he wants to stand with me then be prepared for your stick to break. If you look back most of my fights have ended in the 1st round also, so the 1:05 record doesn't scare me any. I am a very respectful person and I hate to be disrespected by someone who doesn't even know me. As for Brian if you are reading this I hope you are training hard and preparing for a war. Don't expect to run through me.
Kelvin Hunt-Oh boy, it's on now! 6’5" is unusually tall for a guy that fights in your weight class. In what ways do you try to use your height and reach as an advantage during your fights? Do you prefer to stand and bang or are you more of a submissions guy?
Allen Greenway-I am a Thai striker at heart, but I don't mind it being taken to the ground. I feel I am well versed in submissions, and I consider myself to be a very well rounded fighter. I love having that height advantage on a guy, it forces them to have to work inside my range. And I love being the under dog by most viewers cause they always think the bigger guys are just going to kill me.
Kelvin Hunt-You are known as "The Hedgehog". How did you get that nickname?
Allen Greenway-Well that was the first and only nickname I ever had given to me. It was given to me by Roger Carroll and it seemed to stick. I trained with him about 2 yrs ago thanks to my mohawk he said that's what I reminded him of.
Kelvin Hunt-That's a cool nickname I must say. I've heard good things about Roger. What’s something you like to do that most people don’t know about?
Allen Greenway-Music holds strong to me. I was in a band for 4 or 5 years and one of the reasons moving here to Hickory, NC was because I was in a band here named Sever the Tie which everyone around here should know. But after that I realized fighting has always been special to me, and it was always something I loved to do even before music. Now that I am opened up in the world of teaching MMA it's something I have grown to love. I have two sons Avione and Parker and teaching them just makes me happy, they look up to me and just that brings a smile to my face.
Kelvin Hunt-Nice, you'll have to hook me up with a cd or something! How many more times would you like to fight this year, and is there anyone in particular you would like to fight?
Allen Greenway-I plan on this being my last ammy fight and looking forward to a very productive pro career. As for the number of fights, I am willing to fight anyone as long as my health permits me to.
Kelvin Hunt-I interviewed Circle Of Fury Welterweight Champ Chris Clodfelter and he mentioned you as someone to be on the lookout for in the future. How does it feel to have someone acknowledge the hard work you’ve put in? On that same note, in your opinion, who are some other guys we should be on the lookout for in the future?
Allen Greenway-It's a great honor to be recognized by a great fighter such a Clodfelter, he is a great training partner and friend. As for who to look out for in the future I would have to pick 3 and that would be Colt "45" Howell who's 5-0 right now and a complete bad "A". Scott Barr and Matthew Morgan all three of these guys are very well rounded fighters and guys I look up to.
Kelvin Hunt-Cool, I'll have to add them to my list of prospects and get them here on MMA4Real. Any parting thoughts or anyone you would like to thank?
Allen Greenway-I would really like to thank my wife Ashley for all her love and support, and to my boys for lookin up to me and keeping me strong. To all of my friends and family who believe in me. To my biggest Hedgehog fan "Jason". All of my sponsors: Omega Attire, FTH fightgear, Triggonomics, Warrior, Chaos Athletics, Shiny New Tattoo and New Breed. And to Rick Davis of Champion Muay Thai thank you for teaching, and to all my students at Elite Combat Systems for training with me to prepare for this fight.
Allen, MM4Real would definitely like to thank you once again for taking the time out to speak with us. It was a pleasure. Good luck on February 7th, and we look forward to having you on the site again. As a reminder you can catch Allen in action on February 7th. Be sure to come out and support the sport and keep checking MMA4Real for the latest interviews and information on what's happening in the North Carolina MMA scene as well as opinion and analysis of the major MMA events. The all new MMA4Real(www.mmaforreal.com) will be launching soon so also be on the lookout for that.