Former UFC fighters Kurt Pellegrino and Phillipe Nover have joined the Bellator roster, as both are set to debut for the promotion this November.
Kurt Pellegrino went 7-5 in the UFC, with notable wins over Josh Neer and Thiago Tavares. Pellegrino had recently announced his retirement from MMA, but made the decision to take another fight after taking some much needed time off, as he told TapOut Radio:
“I had the opportunity to re-sign with the UFC, but I don’t feel like, at this time in my life, that fighting for them was the best thing for me to do. I didn’t feel that I was ready to compete with everyone in there. I didn’t feel I was ready to compete in any organization. I just decided not to sign back with them, or for anyone else. I was just gonna retire and go on my way. Maybe I’ll fight, maybe I won’t fight. Bellator approached me one day, and asked ‘Are you really gonna retire forever, or do you wanna fight?’ and my wife just looked at me and said ‘Go for it’, and after that, just like in Rocky II, I said ‘You know what? I’m gonna do it’ and I did.”
Pellegrino’s debut takes place November 26th in Atlantic City, when he faces Patricky “Pitbull” Freire in the main event at Bellator 59.
Phillipe Nover last fought at a Hoosier FC event just a few weeks ago, where he won a unanimous decision over Jake Murphy. Nover is best known for his time in the UFC, where he was a finalist on TUF season 8. After dropping three consecutive losses, the UFC released him from the promotion in February of 2010. Nover will look to continue his winning ways when he meets Polish mixed martial artist, Marcin Held in the co-main event of Bellator 59.