Pellegrino Announces Hiatus from MMA

By Mike Whitman May 31, 2011
It might be a while before fans see “Batman” back in the cage.

UFC lightweight staple Kurt Pellegrino Tuesday announced on his official website that he plans to “step away from the sport as a fighter” and will not renew his contract with the UFC. In his blog, Pellegrino asserted that his desire to fight is no longer atop his list of priorities.

“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,” Pellegrino wrote. “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.”

However, Pellegrino explained that his recent decision losses to George Sotiropoulos and Gleison Tibau did not comprise the whole picture regarding his decision to step away from the sport.

“Even last year when I was on a four-fight win streak, I still was questioning myself. This has made me reconsider what my next step will be competitively,” wrote Pellegrino. “I want to take the time to regroup, refocus, and rethink what it is that I want to do going forward. I want to do things that I enjoy right now and refresh my mind.

“I want to concentrate on my BJJ game and improve it. I want to work on my boxing game and improve that, also. I’d like to compete in some grappling tournaments again, like the old days, and maybe even try my hand at a pro boxing fight. I want to have fun training again, bottom line.”

Though exploring other professional avenues contributed to his decision to not renew his contract, Pellegrino stated that his family was ultimately the most important aspect of his recent move.

“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.”

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