Pellegrino: If I make it past the new year, I'll never fight again


I am writing to let everyone know where I stand as far my fighting career goes. At this time I am choosing to take some time off and step away from the sport as a fighter.

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. 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 to be honest. Even last year when i was on a 4 fight win streak I still was questioning myself. This has made me reconsider what my next step will be competitively. I have spoken at length with Joe Silva about my decision and have decided not to renew my contract with the UFC.

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.

Most importantly 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. I did so willingly and I’ve made a lucrative career with the UFC, but I’m not sure I could ever say any amount of money was worth it. My wife and I just welcomed a baby boy and I can’t bear the thought of missing as much of his ‘firsts’ as I did my daughters.

I’m looking forward to dedicating more of my time to my academy which we’ve just expanded to 9000 square feet. I have almost 300 students and a professional and amateur fight team that I am excited to give more of my time to them, they deserve it.

I’m also looking forward to keeping involved in the MMA community and giving back to the sport that has given me so much. I have been able to book many seminars this summer and I am excited to meet fellow martial artists all over the world and help them in a small way to chase their fighting dreams. There are also a few business opportunities for me personally that I would like to pursue, but was unable to do so because of training and fighting. I just want to take this time to focus on some other things in my life and see if I get the itch to fight again.

I am very proud of what I have accomplished over the past eleven years in this sport. I was able to do all the things that I set out to do, which includes achieving a black belt in brazilian jiu jitsu, competing in the world championship Abu Dhabi tournament, and fighting all over the world including Japan and of course in the top MMA organization in the world, the UFC, for five years and 12 fights. Of those twelve fights I was awarded five ‘Fight of the Night’ and ‘Submission of the Night’ honors and for that I am proud.

There are so many people I owe so much to I can’t begin to name them all. Thank you to Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, and Joe Silva for the opportunity to fight in the best organization in the world for all these years. Thank you to all my coaches, training partners, my agent, my sponsors, and my students for their support. And thank you to my family, especially my wife for her undying love and encouragement all these years.

It is bitter sweet to possibly end my career on a loss and something I will have to deal with on my own, but overall it has been a rewarding 11 years for me and I want the end to be on my terms and no one else’s. Its hard to make a decision like this, but I feel its best for me to step away for now and time will tell what the future will bring for me. I don’t want to retire, but I need to find myself and find my love for this sport again.

Hopefully you will see me in the cage again, but if not thanks to everyone for the memories, its been an awesome ride.

I'll still be funny as hell on twitter so follow me! #classickurt

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Pellegrino expanded on the situation in an interview with MMAJunkie Radio.

"I couldn't train for a fight now if my life depended on it."

"If I make it past the new year, I'll never fight again."

"Me retiring has nothing to do with losing to Gleison Tibau whatsoever. Tibau is one of the most fearsome fighters in the UFC. The guy could fight at 185. Even if he kicked my butt up and down the octagon, I was still going to do what I was going to do."

"(The UFC) have helped me so much. They're the reason I was able to buy a house, and a car, and have kids. If it wasn't for their organization, I wouldn't be talking to you guys today."

"Even if I was fighting in the local show down here, Ring of Combat, I would still tell the promoter that I can't fight right now. My head's not into fighting. And if you're head's not into fighting, how would you fight in that show, let alone the UFC?"

"Let other people get their face beat in for a little bit. (I'll) see if I miss it. Right now, I don't miss it."

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Recent Comments »

wingsmma site profile image  

6/1/11 9:16 AM by wingsmma

 I had seen Kurt at many of the local MMA shows in NJ....never spoke with him though. We were in the same locker room at a PA mma event, I had a fighter and one of Kurts fighters Tom Gallicchio were on the same card. Kurt was a real nice guy....very funny too. Wishing him the best of luck.

spliff site profile image  

6/1/11 3:00 AM by spliff

I hope to see him back in action in the future... he always comes to fight and in his last 2 losses he rocked both guys but was just out pointed

Fake Rassler site profile image  

6/1/11 2:31 AM by Fake Rassler

He had some bad luck. I can understand that he felt like he was treading water in the middle of the LW pack for a long time. IMO he got too in love with slamming guys and it cost him against Tibau.

SickJitZ site profile image  

6/1/11 2:21 AM by SickJitZ

@thforklift waah

JeffersonDArcyChoke site profile image  

6/1/11 12:32 AM by JeffersonDArcyChoke

I don't think he will be back. It's too hard to flip that switch. Once you think about retiring; you already have. But he has his health, his family, his school and fulfilled his UFC dreams. Now he can relax and have fun. Good luck to him. But we have seen the last of him fighting as a pro unless he dips his toes into boxing eventually to try it out. Good on him that he made his own decision. I always made the decision to watch his fights.

thforklift site profile image  

5/31/11 11:22 PM by thforklift

 Awesome. I am sure that attitude has served you well in all of your endeavors. Glad you're a member here, it's comments like that from ten'ers why so many stay away from this place. Voted down and grow up.

SickJitZ site profile image  

5/31/11 10:08 PM by SickJitZ

bitch move

Body Shots site profile image  

5/31/11 8:17 PM by Body Shots

Big fan and hope you enjoy the break!!

One&Done site profile image  

5/31/11 7:50 PM by One&Done

Fair enough and appreciate the explanation. In the end its just a bummer to see him go no matter what.yep im the better half ;) i can understand why you would think that, but kenny and keith worked in conjunction with one another training kurt. cornerman position just went to whoever was available! they both are amaxing corners ...and scream super loud! ha yep, its a bummer, but for the best right now.thanks :)Thanks again and I wish you and Kurt the best in the future.