Sunday, April 1, 2007


By Mick Hammond

The UFC lightweight division is soon to become one of the most jam-packed in the history of MMA.

After rebooting this past year, the 155lb weight class has seen the return of veterans, the arrival of new talent, and soon – thanks to the cast of The Ultimate Fighter 5 and the UFC’s acquisition of PRIDE – a whole new infusion of soon to be hitting the famed Octagon.

So for the fighters who are currently working their way up the ranks, now is the time to make their case known, lest yet they might find themselves among the logjam that’s soon to develop in what is going to be the deepest weight class in MMA.

Among those fighters who are poised to make their move is Kurt Pellegrino of The Armory.

Kurt, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout, has been rejuvenated since returning to his natural 155lb division, winning two in a row, including an impressive submission victory over tough Cleuder “Junior” Assuncao at UFC 64 last October.

After time off to tend to the birth of his first child, Pellegrino returns on April 5th to The Palms Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for Ultimate Fight Night, to face off against late replacement Nate Moore.

“I feel excellent,” said Kurt of how he’s feeling heading into his first action of the year. “[I feel] better than I did for my last fight. I’m very excited and ready to throw down.”

One of the reasons why Pellegrino is feeling so well is because unlike his last UFC fight, making weight is no longer an issue after coming down from a short stint at welterweight.

“For my last fight I was more concerned with making sure I could make the weight, and train the right way,” explained Kurt. “I felt great when I fought Junior too, it only lasted two minutes, but I’m sure if it would have been beyond that I would have been fine with conditioning.”

Pellegrino added, “With this fight, the weight’s not even a problem. I’ve been 165 for the last two weeks and still have a week to go, so my conditioning is probably the best I’ve ever seen it and I’m looking forward to fighting.”

Kurt is now slated to face Nate Moore, after initial opponent Wander Braga was forced to drop out of the fight. According to Pellegrino, while there’s some letdown because he won’t be able to face Braga, he’s nonetheless still excited to be returning to action, regardless of opposition.

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