Interview with Kurt PellegrinoATT: Kurt, Lets get right to it. Why did you leave Ricardo?
Kurt: To be honest, in my heart I do not feel I left Ricardo or Renzo. They will always be in my heart and my spirit. Team Renzo Gracie-Ricardo Almeida is where I began, its where I come from and I will never forget where I came from. I have so much respect for them both. Ricardo has taught me everything I know and that is the reason I am standing here today. I am extremely grateful for everything he has done for me. Basically, I had a rough year both personally and professionally. I had to re-evaluate my priorities and goals in life. It was just time for a change. My first priority is my family and fiancee Melissa, who is always my #1 priority. Then it is my career. My goal is to be successful, but I have redefined what success means to me. I feel that if I train hard 110% everyday to the best of my ability and help my teammates to the best of their ability I will be a success, win or lose…..but you can count on me winning for sure!
ATT: Why did you decide to join ATT to continue your career?
Kurt: ATT is the best team out there for what I am looking to achieve. Everything about this team is awesome. We train brutally hard, kicking the crap out of each other and at the end everyone is hugging! Its great!! They have the greatest bunch of guys to work with…all tough as nails! They made me feel so welcome. Its just a great atmosphere the training is intense, my teammates are awesome, and the team is run very professionally. Its so impressive and I am just honored that I can be apart of it. I look forward to training everyday and helping the team in ANY way I can. ATT is the future of MMA!
ATT: Is it a big step for you to move to Florida from NJ?
Kurt: Yeah it is! Melissa and I are so excited to be moving to the sunshine state! Melissa has a great job and I have an awesome opportunity to be part of a great organization. We consider this a new chapter in our lives and really looking forward to it.
ATT: Will you only fight MMA?
Kurt: I love to do it all. Gi, No-Gi, and MMA. Whateve Liborio decides is best for the team.
ATT: What are your goals right now?
Kurt: Right now, just to help my teammates, train hard, and prepare for my upcoming fight in Euphoria.After that, I’ll take whatever fight Liborio decides is best for me.
ATT: You mentioned your upcoming fight in Euphoria in 2 weeks. How’s training going?
Kurt: Training is going good. I’m motivated for this fight. I left my job, benefits, my family in NJ everything for this opportunity. I feel this is my destiny to fight.
ATT: Whats down the road for you?
Kurt: I was watching the UFC when I was still in school wrestling, so of course that would be a lifelong dream to someday fight in their organization. I would also like the chance to go fight in Pancrase again, and erase my loss. But first I need to prove myself. I need to continue fighting and winning.
ATT: What keeps you motivated in this sport?
Kurt: I just love to compete. I have competed since I was a kid in wrestling. I feel if I was born in a different era I would be a gladiator. Its in my blood, to compete hard, to train hard, to never give up. The competition drives me.
ATT: Who would you like to thank?
Kurt: I would like to thank Melissa, my cousin Kenny who has been to every one of my practices and matches, my mother & father and all my friends who stood by me….they know who they are. I want to thank Renzo and Ricardo for teaching me all I know today. I owe them alot. I want to thank the team too for all the support they have given me. Great guys on the team. Last but not least I need to thank Ricardo Liborio and the rest of ATT for welcoming me and Melissa to their “family”. We both have felt so welcomed. I’m so appreciative of this opportunity that Liborio has given to me! I’m so psyched for the future with ATT. ATT is going to be a force to be reckoned with!!
ATT: Any final thoughts?Kurt: Yes, I’m looking to put on a great show in my hometown of NJ for all my family and friends. Thanks for everybody’s support! See you all on May 14th in Atlantic City, NJ (Euphoria Event)!