The choice to walk away from the sport you love is never an easy decision for any athlete and it appears Pellegrino has been wrestling with the choice for awhile. Pellegrino and his wife recently welcomed a baby boy into the world and that apparently cemented Pellegrino’s decision to walk away from MMA.
Pellegrino announced his decision on his blog:
“At this time I am choosing to take some time off and step away from the sport as a fighter. 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…”
“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. I did so willingly and I’ve made a lucrative career with the UFC, but I’m not sure I could ever say any amount of money was worth it. My wife and I just welcomed a baby boy and I can’t bare the thought of missing as much of his ‘firsts’ as I did my daughters. I’m looking forward to dedicating more of my time to my academy which we’ve just expanded to 9000 square feet. I have almost 300 students and a professional and amateur fight team that I am excited to give more of my time to them, they deserve it. I’m also looking forward to keeping involved in the MMA community and giving back to the sport that has given me so much.”
Pellegrino lost two fights in a row for the first time in his career with his loss to Gleison Tibau at UFC 128 in March. Pellegrino was 16-6 (7-4 UFC) and won both a “Fight of the Night” and “Submission of the Night” against Thiago Tavares and Fabricio Camoes respectively.
While “Batman” left the door open for a possible return, with so much to focus on outside of the Octagon it is potentially the end of the road for this fan favorite.