Pitbull (left) looks to spoil the Bellator debut of Pellegrino (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
UFC Veteran Facing Patricky Pitbull in Atlantic City
Just a week after one of the best lightweight fights in MMA history, Bellator Fighting Championships sends another pair of top 155-pounders to battle at Caesars in Atlantic City on Saturday night. UFC veteran Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino (16-6) will make his debut under the Bellator banner, facing Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (9-2) at Bellator 59.
“It was like Rocky II when Adrian awoke from the coma and told Rocky to win,” Pellegrino said when it was announced he was joining Bellator. “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.”
A native of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Pellegrino operates a mixed martial arts academy and also coaches the wrestling team at Saint Rose High School, both of which are located in Belmar at the Jersey Shore. Fighting so close to home on Saturday is something Pellegrino feels will definitely give him an advantage.
“I want Patricky to feel suffocated,” he remarked. ”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 voiced his pleasure in Pellegrino joining the promotion, and he sa
ys fight fans are in for a treat this weekend.
“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.”
Also on tap for Saturday night are the finals of both the Season 5 Heavyweight and Bantamweight Tournaments. Thiago Santos (10-1) will meet Eric Prindle (9-1) to decide who will take on Bellator Heavyweight Champion Cole Konrad next season, while Alexis Vila (11-0) and Eduardo Dantas (12-2) will scrap for a chance at Zach Makovsky’s Bantamweight Belt during Season 6.