MMA veteran Kurt Pellegrino came out of retirement last night to face Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, but after suffering a first-round TKO loss, it looks like Batman will hang his gloves back up just as quickly as he took them down.
The 32-year-old New Jersey native initially announced his retirement after losing two straight decisions in the UFC to George Sotiropoulos and Gleison Tibau, citing his desire to spend more time with his family. He was eventually drawn back to fighting by his competitive drive and signed with Bellator, a promotion with far fewer responsibilities above fighting for Pellegrino.
Against Freire, Pellegrino got rocked almost immediately by a pair of hard punches, but kept his wits enough to drop down for the takedown. Freire fired off some heavy hammer fists, but Pellegrino continued to push forward. The ref stepped in and called the fight anyway and, despite the slightly controversial stoppage, Pellegrino announced his retirement for a second time.
“I started my career in Atlantic City, I wanted to end it in Atlantic City, too,” said Pellegrino (props to MMAMania for the quotes). “When [Bellator] told me [I would fight] Patricky, I was thrilled. I knew he was super tough and I would have to train hard for him. I really did train hard. I lost fair and square. This will be the last time you ever see me fight, again.”
Pellegrino was clearly emotional in making his announcement, but he explained that the time he’s forced to spend away from his family is still taking its toll on him.
“This isn’t the way I wanted it to end,” he said. “You know, walking up the stairs I wanted to honestly tell you that you guys would never ever ever see me fight again unless you’re watching old tapes. It’s just getting a little hard. I missed my daughter’s first words, which were ‘dad,’ preparing for this fight. I don’t know what I want to do, but as of right now I’m done. I think I’m done… I don’t know what to do. I wanted to retire today.”
Pellegrino claims a career record of 16-7, with notable wins over Mac Danzig, Josh Neer, Junior Assuncao, Thiago Tavares and Fabricio Camoes.