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Kurt Pellegrino signs to fight Patricky Freire under Bellator banner

Long-time UFC lightweight Kurt Pellegrino willfully walked away from MMA competition a little less than six months ago, opting to focus on obligations to his family and gym rather than re-sign a Zuffa contract.

“It’s hard to make a decision like this, but I feel its best for me to step away for now and time will tell what the future will bring for me,” Pellegrino originally wrote online to his fans. “I don’t want to retire, but I need to find myself and find my love for this sport again. Hopefully you will see me in the cage again, but if not thanks to everyone for the memories, it’s been an awesome ride.”

As it turns out, the dwindling passion Pellegrino had seemingly lost didn’t take long to locate.

Last night, Bellator FC introduced their newest lightweight signing – Pellegrino – to the audience during the Bellator 49 broadcast where it was also announced the 32-year old grappler’s first fight would come on November 26 at Bellator 59 against Season 4 tournament finalist Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.

Though terms of the deal were not revealed it’s likely one of the primary factors in Pellegrino’s decision to sign, rather than simply money, may have been Bellator’s frequent stops in his home-State of New Jersey. Bellator 49 took place in Atlantic City as will Bellator 59 when he makes his promotional debut.

Pellegrino is 16-6 in his career but coming off back-to-back decision losses in the UFC. Prior to the defeats, neither of which he was dominated in, “Batman” had won four straight including victories over and Thiago Tavares and Josh Neer.

His opponent in November, the 9-2 Freire, has beaten Rob McCullough and Toby Imada in the Bellator ring. Six of his total wins have come via TKO.


  • Rece Rock says:

    Nice pretty cool signing

  • Batman says:

    I’m glad he is back bellator will be better for him. This gives me a reason to watch bellator.

  • Guthookd says:

    Shit Batman, if this is your reason to watch Bellator then dont’ expect to be a long time supporter because Kurt is going to get his ass kicked by Patricky. Kurt is a great fighter too, but I think you’ll see, Patricky is even better. He trains with the Nogueras and entertains a kind of Muay Thai style of stand up that is destructive, to put it mildley.

    I’m stoked to see Kurt get a shot in Bellator. IF he pulls this off they’ll no doubt offer him a spot in an upcoming tourney.

  • MCM says:

    Love me some Pellegrino, and not just the water. I was truly bummed when he said he was retiring, but I think Bellator is a better fit for him anyway. Not because of the talent level, but being closer to home and being able to take care of his family and gym while training and fighting is a huge asset.

    But I’m kinda leaning with Guthookd. Them pitbull bros. are freaking nasty.

  • Batman says:

    Guthookd- We will see what happens in the fight. I just haven’t really been interested in bellator so sue me.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Pretty sure Kurt is just doing this as a one off fight… His last fight in UFC was in NJ and he lost so he just probably wants to go out on a win in his home state… but we will see.

  • Guthookd says:

    Consider your self served – for missing Ben Saunders and Dan Hornbuckle both, last weekend.


  • Screenplaya says:

    I think what we have here is Batman prefers the much lighter promotional requirements of Bellator. He is likely not going to have to do any press junkets or things of that nature. In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that viewpoint. He gets to fight, and he never has to leave his family to do anything other than take part in fights.

    The UFC is a much bigger stage and requires its fighters to do more “extra-curriculars.” Maybe Bellator would be a good home for Nick Diaz, too. I think this might be something that sets Bellator apart (smaller promotion, smaller promotional requirements on fighters) and will make it viable in a UFC-dominated space.

    I like it.


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