UFC Veteran Returns to Action After Mulling Retirement
When Bellator Fighting Championships got its fifth season underway this past Saturday at Bellator 49 in Atlantic City, a major announcement was made in that UFC veteran and fan favorite Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino (16-6) will take on Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (9-2) at Bellator 59. Pellegrino had recently mulled retirement to spend more time with his family, but the New Jersey native is now set to make his debut under the Bellator banner in the main event of this card, which is slated for November 26th at Caesars in Atlantic City.
“It was like Rocky II when Adrian awoke from the coma and told Rocky to win,” Pellegrino remarked. “I was retired, sitting home watching videos with my son, but I was also training at that time and was in great shape when my wife walked up to me and said ‘If you want to do it again, go for it.’ Before that, I felt bad for being away training and missing my daughter’s first words, changing diapers, etc. I was so happy that I was able to be there for my son’s big moments, but the fact that my family supports me returning to fight means everything to me.”
Once he received that nod of approval from his family, Pellegrino said that Bellator seemed like the perfect place for him to continue his professional career.
“I retired from fighting, and didn’t think I was going to do this anymore,” he reflected. “I feel like this is the right show for me to do everything I want to do and to go where I want to go. I get to finish the vision quest my way, and this is why I chose Bellator. My family comes before anything, and Bellator understands that. I wanted to wait until I was able to fight in Atlantic City, and Bellator is giving me that opportunity, so I couldn’t be happier.”
Including the show highlighted by Pellegrino against Pitbull, Bellator will make two more stops in Atlantic City this year, with Boardwalk Hall being the host site of a lightweight title fight between champion Eddie Alvarez and challenger Michael Chandler at Bellator 54 on October 15th.
“I had a choice to fight at Boardwalk Hall or fight in the Ballroom at Caesars, and I chose Caesars,” Pellegrino said. “I want Patricky to feel suffocated. I want to suffocate him before I ever take his back and choke him out. I’m going to put a thousand of my family and friends in this Ballroom, and I want him to feel the pressure. This is going to be the biggest fight of his life.”
Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney also voiced his pleasure in signing Pellegrino.
“I’ve been a Kurt Pellegrino fan for many years,” he confirmed. “Kurt is a world class lightweight, and his fight against Patricky Pitbull should be spectacular on November 26th from Caesars Atlantic City.”
As season five of Bellator continues to unfold, additional fights for the Bellator 59 card will be announced.