Following the first event of their fifth season on Saturday night Bellator have announced two significant additions to their lightweight roster.
First up is long-time UFC fighter Kurt Pellegrino who recently indicated that he was contemplating retirement following back-to-back defeats in the Octagon, but now claims to have found a new lease of life and turned down a new contract with the promotion in order to sign with Bellator.
A BJJ specialist who defeated the likes of Fabricio Camoes, Thiago Tavares and Josh Neer during his 7-5 run in the UFC, Pellegrino is certainly a smart signing by Bellator.
At this stage Pellegrino has only put pen to paper on a one-fight deal, and he’ll face last season’s lightweight tournament finalist Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire at Bellator 59 in what should be a very competitive encounter.
Meanwhile former Ultimate Fighter Season 8 finalist Phillipe Nover has also been added to Bellator’s 155lb ranks.
Nover struggled to live up to the hype in the Octagon after Dana White likened him to Anderson Silva during the TUF show, losing in the final to Efrain Escudero and then falling to two further defeats before being cut back in February of last year.
Since then Nover has kept a low profile, but he finally returned to action in August and secured a confidence-boosting win which lead to him signing for Bellator.
Like Pellegrino, Nover will not be competing in a tournament for the promotion just yet, but he has been lined up to face the 11-2 Marcin Held on November 26th.