Longtime UFC lightweight fighter Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino announced today through his personal website that he will be taking an indefinite hiatus from the sport of mixed martial arts in an attempt to rediscover the enthusiasm for the sport that he used to have.
“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,” wrote Pellegrino on his website, KurtPellegrino.com. “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.”
Pellegrino wrote that he wants to take to focus on his family — namely his two young children — and the students/fighters that train at his newly opened academy. Sporting a record of 16-6, the 32-year-old has not won a bout since early 2010, when he choked out Fabricio Camoes at UFC 111. Since then, he has posted back-to-back losses against George Sotiropoulos and, most recently, Gleison Tibau.
Pellegrino expressed that he is leaving the door to a return open, but that he needs to take time to refocus in order for that to be viable.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”