by Brian Lamar, Assignment Editor

Adam “The Slugger” Pellerano stood glistening covered in sweat and blood in front of a crowd of screaming fans at the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships held in Biloxi Aug 21 at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum.

Pellerano (3-1), a steep underdog went against his foe, John Chalbeck (14-0) and won on a split decision (78-48, 48-47 and 49-46).

The fight was bloody. In the first round, due to a cut on his right eyebrow, blood began pouring out of Pellerano’s face at times seeming to cover his whole face, chest and torso.

The barrage of multiple attacks that seemed to draw more blood with every punch from his veteran opponent didn’t seem to phase Pellerano, he fought like a man possessed with one single mission…win. Chalbeck was throwing everything at Pellerano but the kitchen sink and even eventually broke his hand on a head shot. That didn’t slow Pellerano down a bit.

“All fights are special in their own way, but this one had extra meaning. I dedicated this fight to my son Landen. He has autism. He will be 12 this year. It is very severe and he is nonverbal. He fights every day of his life. This one fight I dedicated for my son and there wasn’t any way in hell that I was going to let my opponent beat me,” explained Pellerano.

Pellerano isn’t a classically trained fighter. He doesn’t come from a pedigree of famous coaches or trains at fancy fighter’s gyms. He spends most of his days as a tug boat captain for a dredging company and just fits in workouts where he can.

“I just train on the road when I can. I bring equipment with me to stay in shape. I got my start by fighting growing up,” said Pellerano.

Being pretty new to the bare knuckle platform, Pellerano says that his learning curve is a sharp one.

“I learn new stuff every time and I get more confident. I still have a lot of work to do. The only thing I can do is train the hardest I can and take on whoever they throw at me. The better fights that get thrown at me are going to be good for me, but my career is being a captain. It limits my training abilities, but as long as I can hang, I will continue to take fights and grow from them,” said Pellerano.

After last Friday’s fight, Pellerano believes it could be a turning point.

“I finally feel like this fight is going to put some respect on my name. I wanted the knockout, but I couldn’t get a good hold on him for that knockout hit. I knew that after I won this fight, it would give me some recognition from BKFC. He had a big name and was undefeated. That is something I can be very proud of,” he said.

Pellerano only has one set of advice for anyone who would follow down a similar path.

“You gotta be crazy to do what I do. You gotta be a little sideways in the head to do this. My advice is to make sure that this is something you really want to do. It isn’t easy. Don’t go into it lightly,” Pellerano explained.