Shortly after losing to Patricky Freire at Bellator 59, UFC veteran Kurt Pellegrino announced he was walking away from MMA with finality in order to focus on family rather than fighting, appearing content with his decision to entertain fans in his native New Jersey one last time before calling it quits on a successful career despite having gas left in the tank.
However, after the reality of the bout’s conclusion set in – a referee prematurely stopping action – it seems Pellegrino may be open to ending things on the right note rather than one filled with disappointment and controversy.
“This isn’t the way I wanted it to end,” the 32-year old explained at the post-event press conference. “Walking up the stairs today to come here I could honestly tell you, you’ll never see me fight again unless you’re watching it on YouTube…It’s just getting hard. I missed my daughter’s first words because of me fighting. That’s something I always think about.
“When I tell you I did everything right, I did everything right,” Pellegrino continued. “To lose that way and have a ref jump on top of you and tell you that you were laying down, and I had to pick you up … I actually told him, ‘I’m standing up asshole.’ I remember holding his leg and trying to stand up. Nothing against the ref. He’s a really amazing guy with an amazing mustache.”
While Pellegrino remained mum on what he would do next, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney made it clear the company is interested in seeing him compete at least one more time.
“I’m going to do everything in my power to try to sit down to take him and his family and convince them that this may not be the last time we see him step into a cage. I think we’d be cheating a lot of fans,” said Rebney.
If Pellegrino remains retired he will exit MMA with a 16-7 record and twelve finishes including ten submissions. “Batman” holds past victories over Rob Emerson, Thiago Tavares, Mac Danzig, and Josh Neer.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC