Kurt Pellegrino proclaimed prior to his UFC 116 fight against George Sotiropoulos that a loss would likely signal the end of his career.
Like most fighters, Pellegrino didn't keep his word. However, a second loss in a row to Gleison Tibau in March just may have ended his nine-year career.
The 32-year-old Pellegrino wrote on his Web site Tuesday that he was "choosing to take some time off and step away from the sport as a fighter:"
Pellegrino, 16-6, isn't officially closing the book on his fighting career, noting that he is interested in competing grappling tournaments and maybe even a pro boxing match. He also wrote that he may return to active MMA competition someday too.
"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," Pellegrino wrote. "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."
"Batman" won his MMA debut in August 2002, defeating Mac Danzig at WEC 4 via unanimous decision. He lost his Octagon debut at UFC 61 against Drew Fickett. He went 7-5 in the UFC, defeating the likes of Fabricio Camoes, Josh Neer and Thiago Tavares. In the process, he won five Fight of the Night awards and one Submission of the Night.
MMA will still be a major part of the New Jersey-native's life, as he'll be teaching classes at his Pellegrino Mixed Martial Arts Academy and seminars across the world.
"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."
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