UFC's Kurt Pellegrino Steps Away from MMA

Roland RisoContributor IJune 1, 2011

After two defeats by decision, Ultimate Fighting Championship 155-pound fighter Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino has decided take time off from mixed martial arts and dedicate more time to his family.

According to the 32-year-old’s website, KurtPellegrino.com, the New Jersey-born fighter feels he needs time off to rethink his future.

“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," he said. "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.”

Prior to his two recent losses, Batman still considered stepping away from fighting, even while on a 19-month, undefeated streak in the world’s largest MMA promotion.

“Even last year when I was on a four-fight win streak, I still was questioning myself. This has made me reconsider what my next step will be competitively,” explains the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. “I have spoken at length with (UFC matchmaker) 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.”

During his current hiatus from fighting in the octagon, Pellegrino is still willing to learn and better himself as a martial artist, and is considering competing in non-MMA sports.

“I want to concentrate on my BJJ game and improve it.  I want to work on my boxing game and improve that also,” claims the lightweight fighter.  “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.”

Whether Kurt Pellegrino decides to return or retire from MMA, he’s definitely built a solid career with a current record of 16-6, dating back to 2002, with notable wins over Mac Danzig, Thiago Tavares and Josh Neer.

Roland Riso is a contributing writer for Bleacher Report.  All quotes were obtained from KurtPellegrino.com.