- Earned the Fight of the Night award after defeating Alberto Crane (2008)
- Defeated Thiago Tavares, earning Fight of the Night and UFC voted #2 best fight (2008)
- Gold medalist at the Pan American Games (2007)
- Inducted into the NJ Martial Arts Hall of Fame (2012)
Kurt Pellegrino is a former American mixed martial artist. He competed most notoriously in the lightweight division of the UFC. He fought in his first UFC match in 2006 and trained with the likes of Kenny Florian, Justin Haskins, Eduardo Guedes, Raphael Chaves and the world famous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor Renzo Gracie over the course of his career. In 2008, Kurt received the Fight of the Night award when he defeated Alberto Crane in the second round, having ripped a hole in his mouth due to a knocked out tooth early in the fight. In a preliminary bout against Thiago Tavares at the UFC 88: Breakthrough, Kurt emerged victorious and the fight earned Fight of the Night honors and was voted by the UFC as the #2 best fight of 2008. He defeated Rob Emerson at UFC Fight Night 17 in 2009 and defeated Josh Neer at UFC 101, earning Kurt his first win on a UFC main card. He retired from the sport in 2011 earning Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night honors in five separate bouts. Kurt has competed in 13 UFC fights and is an accomplished grappler, having won numerous Grapplers Quest National Titles.
Originally from Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Kurt began wrestling at the age of six and competed in high school, placing second in the state championships for two consecutive seasons. As an amateur, Kurt was a three-time Greco and freestyle champion and won a gold medal at the Pan American championships in 2007. He earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2005 and competed in the welterweight class before his more comfortable weight class, lightweight. Kurt was also one of 16 competitors invited to compete in the World Championships Abu Dhabi’s in 2007. Before becoming professional, he achieved a grappling record of over 100 wins with only three losses. Currently, he runs his own MMA Academy in New Jersey, training up and coming fighters like Jeff Lentz, Steven Deangelis and Greg Soto. Kurt was inducted as part of the inaugural class into the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2012.