Kurt Pellegrino Announces Hiatus from Fighting
By FCF Staff
After losing back-to-back bouts for the first time in his career, veteran lightweight Kurt Pellegrino has announced that he will not be renewing his contract with the UFC and is taking a hiatus from MMA competition. The 32 year-old-fighter made the announcement today on his official website.
“I am writing to let everyone know where I stand as far my fighting career goes. At this time I am choosing to take some time off and step away from the sport as a fighter. Over my most recent fights I have come to the realization that at this point I no longer can, nor want to make fighting my first priority. Never in my career have I lost two fights in a row and my last fight’s decision in particular was especially hard for me to swallow to be honest.”
After winning four straight from September, 2008 through March, 2010, Pellegrino lost by decision to George Sotiropoulos and most recently Gleison Tibau in March, to leave his record at 16-6. The accomplished wrestler and BJJ black belt added in his announcement that he wants to take more time to work on various aspects of his MMA game, before stating:
“Most importantly I want to spend more time with my family. My daughter is four years old and I can’t tell you how much of her life I’ve missed dedicating my life to training for fights. I did so willingly and I’ve made a lucrative career with the UFC, but I’m not sure I could ever say any amount of money was worth it. My wife and I just welcomed a baby boy and I can’t bare the thought of missing as much of his ‘firsts’ as I did my daughters. I’m looking forward to dedicating more of my time to my academy which we’ve just expanded to 9000 square feet.”
During Pellegrino’s UFC tenure he has scored seven wins in the Octagon, including victories over Thiago Tavares, Josh Neer and Fabricio Camoes. While Pellegrino did not announce his retirement, the charismatic fighter conceded that it is possible he may never fight again.
“It is bitter sweet to possibly end my career on a loss and something I will have to deal with on my own, but overall it has been a rewarding 11 years for me and I want the end to be on my terms and no one else’s. It’s hard to make a decision like this, but I feel it’s best for me to step away for now and time will tell what the future will bring for me. I don’t want to retire, but I need to find myself and find my love for this sport again.”