Kurt Joseph Pellegrino
(born May 7, 1979) is an American mixed martial artist, currently competing in the lightweight division of the UFC. Pellegrino's first fight in the UFC came in 2006. Pellegrino also runs his own MMA Academy in Belmar NJ in which he has many up and coming fighters including Jeff Lentz, Steven Deangelis, Lester Caslow and fellow UFC fighter Greg Soto. He lives and trains in New Jersey and also trains with Kenny Florian's camp in Boston, Massachusetts. Pellegrino trained previously at the Armory in Jupiter, Florida with Justin Haskins, Eduardo Guedes
, andRaphael Chaves
. Prior to the Armory, he trained with Ricardo Almeida, a world famousBrazilian Jiu Jitsu
competitor at a Renzo Gracie affiliate school. He wrestled for Point Pleasant High School and placed 2nd in the state of NJ in his junior and senior year. Pellegrino was a two time wrestling state finalist. Opened Kurt Pellegrino's MMA School in Belmar, New Jersey in 2008.
Mixed Martial Arts career
Pellegrino fought Alberto Crane at UFC Fight Night on January 23, 2008, which he won by a TKO. The fight was notable as the only preliminary bout aired on the televised card. He received Fight of the Night award for this fight. Also, Pellegrino had a tooth knocked out early in the fight, which actually ripped a hole in his mouth, under his lip, and still went on to win, impressing fans and commentators alike.
Despite a strong first round, Pellegrino was defeated by TUF 5 winner Nate Diaz via triangle choke at UFC Fight Night 13 on April 2, 2008, in Broomfield, Colorado.
He defeated Thiago Tavares, in a preliminary bout at UFC 88: Breakthrough. Pellegrino bloodied Tavares' face in the first round and went on to win by a unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 29–28, 29–27, 29–27. There was a small controversy in the fight, as it appeared that Tavares submitted to an armbar in the second round, but the referee did not stop the bout, causing boos from the audience. The fight was awarded "Fight of the Night" and was voted by UFC as the #2 best fight of 2008.
Pellegrino next fought at Ultimate Fight Night 17 on February 7, 2009. He defeated Rob Emerson by submission due to a rear naked choke in the third round. In his most recent bout at UFC 101 Pellegrino defeated Josh Neer by unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27). It was his first win on a UFC main card.
He was expected to face Frankie Edgar on December 5, 2009 at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale, but has been forced off the card due to an injury.
Pellegrino recently defeated Fabricio Camoes at UFC 111 by rear naked choke earning him Submission of the Night.
Pellegrino's next fight was against Australian standout, George Sotiropoulos in which he lost by unanimous decision at UFC 116 on July 3. Pellegrino tore his ACL and meniscus in the 1st round. Two weeks after the fight he underwent two surgeries to repair his meniscus and to replce his ACL. Pellegrino looks to return to the octagon in early 2011.
Pellegrino and his wife Melissa have a daughter named Priscilla.
Mixed Martial Arts:
Ultimate Fighting Championships:
- 1x Fight Of The Night
- 1x Submission Of The Night.
- 2x New Jersey State Wrestling Finalist.