Pellegrino retires after loss to Freire

Veteran lightweight Kurt Pellegrino appeared in a non-UFC bout for the first time in five years, but the result wasn’t what he expected. Pellegrino was stopped by Patricky Freire in the first round at Bellator 59 in Atlantic City, N.J., on Saturday.

Freire landed a left-right combination square on Pellegrino’s jaw less than a minute into the fight. The punches sent Pellegrino to the canvas, where Freire continued his striking assault.

Pellegrino grabbed a leg, but was unable to effectively defend himself and the referee to wave the fight off at the 50-second mark.

Afterward, Pellegrino announced his retirement from fighting.

“I really did train hard. I lost fair and square,” said Pellegrino, who ends his pro career with a record of 16-7. “This will be the last time you guys will see me fight.”

Pellegrino has offered to help Freire prepare for the Bellator lightweight tournament.

Heavyweight final ends prematurely

Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad will have to wait a while longer to defend his title.

The heavyweight tournament final between Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos failed to produce a winner. The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board ruled Bellator 59's main event a no contest.

At 1:24 of the first round, Santos landed an "accidental" kick to the groin of Prindle, who was on his back at the time.

After the kick, pain was etched on Prindle’s face. He was given 5 minutes to recover, but was unable to continue.

A date for another fight between Santos and Prindle has yet to be announced. The winner will face Konrad.

Dantas beats Vila in bantamweight final

Eduardo Dantas handed Alexis Vila his first professional loss and landed a bantamweight title shot with a unanimous decision win.

All three judges scored the fight 29-28.

After being taken to the ground twice in the first round, Dantas used his superior reach to control Vila standing during the second and third rounds to win the bantamweight tournament.

Dantas (13-2) will now face Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky. A date for the bout has yet to be determined.

Vila falls to 11-1.

Held holds off Nover

Phillipe Nover escaped several submission attempts, but could not escape with a win against Marcin Held.

Nover came out on the short end of a split decision in the three-round lightweight battle.

Two judges scored the fight for Held, 29-28. Nover got the edge on the third card, 29-28. ESPN.com saw it for Nover 29-28.

Held improved to 12-2, while Nover (6-4-1) lost for the fourth time in five fights.