Former UFC lightweight Kurt Pellegrino has been out of action for eight months and is coming off a pair of decision losses inside the Octagon, the latter aspect prompting his unexpected (and ultimately temporary) retirement from active competition. With the desire to compete quickly returning, Pellegrino decided to sign with Bellator as a means of staying close to home and has done just that with the New Jersey native fighting Patricky Freire later this evening in Atlantic City at Bellator 59.
However, despite the layoff, consecutive defeats, and questions about his future in MMA, Pellegrino is entering tonight’s fight with supreme confidence as he made clear when offering his thoughts on the match-up’s eventual outcome.
“I’m going to submit Patricky in this fight,” predicted Pellegrino in an interview with Sherdog. “We are going to play jiu-jitsu on the floor, and he’s going to get tapped out. He can’t show me his back like he’s done in some of his other fights, because I’ll take his back and submit him.”
In fact, to hear “Batman” tell it, he’s fairly certain he can take out any 155er calling Bellator home now that he’s re-motivated and, more importantly, healthy.
“The vision quest I’ve always had for myself ended with me being on top. I have to know if I have something left or if it’s over, and I don’t believe it’s over.”
“I had a serious leg injury in my last two fights before I retired, and that’s not how I want to be remembered. If I lose, I want to know I was 100 percent, and I’m definitely 100 percent going into this fight with Patricky,” he continued. “When I’m healthy, I don’t feel like there’s anyone that can beat me.”
Interested parties can catch Pellegrino vs. Freire on the main card when things fire up on MTV2/EPIX at 9:00 PM EST. Other bouts include Phillipe Nover vs. Marcin Held, as well as two Season 5 tournament finals featuring Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos (heavyweight) and Alexis Vila vs. Eduardo Dantas (bantamweight).
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR