(Warning: this is long, but we talked about some very interesting things)
Pete "The Secret Weapon" Spratt is a serious MMA veteran. He was a member of The Ultimate Fighter season 4: The Comeback and had multiple fights in the UFC. Throughout his career he has faced top welterweights like Georges St. Pierre, Josh Koscheck, Carlos Newton, Marcus Davis and Robbie Lawler. Spratt earned his nickname early in his career when, despite people not knowing who he was, he would consistently perform in the best fights of the night. He would be the "Secret Weapon" of the promotion.
After leaving the UFC in 2007, Spratt has actively fought in several smaller promotions including MFC, Strikeforce and HDNet Fights. Spratt is competing in the opening bout of the stacked Shark Fights 13 card against Eric Davila and he was kind enough to be a guest on the very first episode of my new show The Verbal Submission.
Brian Hemminger: So what's been going on in the world of Pete Spratt? The last I heard from you, you were defeating UFC veteran Luigi Fioravanti at MFC 25 back in May.
Pete Spratt: Yeah, well I've just been training man, training my guys. I've had a lot of my guys fighting so basically I've been training pretty much since April non-stop because I've had so many guys getting ready for fights. I've just been in training, been in the gym.
BH: You've been around the block quite a bit in your MMA career. Does being on such a stacked card like this Shark Fights 13 show, does that bring back memories of your UFC career?
PS: Uhh, nah, not particularly because I've never been on the undercard so it doesn't bring back anything for me.
BH: I saw on twitter that you were going to the Bellator 27 weigh-ins. Did you have a chance to see that Joe Warren-Joe Soto title fight this past Thursday?
PS: Nah, I didn't get to see it. I was downstairs in the basement you know, warming my guys up, but I did hear about it. One of the guys came down just after the first round and he was like "Oh man that fight's gonna be over quick" and then about 2 minutes later he gets a text from his brother that's out there watching it and he's like "Joe Warren knocked out Joe Soto" and he was like "no, he's gotta mean Soto knocked out Warren," but he was like "Nahh, Warren knocked out Soto." You know, I mean, that, that's what happens when you clown man, you don't need to clown until the fight's over.
BH: So you were there then, were you in the corner of someone on the show, like an undercard fighter?
PS: Yeah, I had Rodrigo Pinheiro. He fought the main event of the local undercard.
BH: Oh yeah, I got a press release from Bellator about that. How did he do?
PS: He was actually winning the fight and got cut with 7 seconds left in the last round and the doctor stopped the fight.
BH: What!? With 7 seconds left?
PS: Yeah, he won the first and second round and then they stopped the fight with 7 seconds left.
BH: That's horrible. They could have waited 7 more seconds!
PS: Oh I agree. If the doctor had been experienced enough to know the situation, to know everything that's going on, then I think, you know, he would have let the fight continue for the last 7 seconds. You know, how much worse is that cut gonna get with 7 seconds left? The guy can run for 7 seconds.
BH: Yeah, like Gray Maynard did against Kenny Florian at the end of the last round.
BH: Ok, well let's talk about your upcoming fight. Eric Davila is a Shark Fights veteran. What are your thoughts on him?
PS: Eric has been around a long time. I've only ever had the privilege of seeing him fight one time and that's actually his last fight when he fought Anselmo Martinez. You know, it's kinda funny but I actually helped Eric warm up for that fight. So it's kinda weird that they matched us together but it is what it is. It's a business decision. I like Eric. He's a good guy. I like everything about those guys over at Bighead MMA and this is a business decision and after the fight, you know, we'll be friends again.
BH: Yeah I saw you had a friendly relationship with Eric before. So you think it's not a big deal to fight friends as long as you keep it business?
PS: Yeah yeah, I mean, because in the end, this is what we do so eventually, two friends are gonna have to cross that road and fight. Again, Eric's been really cool with me. When I had my fighter out on the undercard near his gym, he allowed us to come over and train. I hung out with his family and everything so you know, it is what it is. It's nothing personal.
BH: Ok, well what are your thoughts on that big issue with fighters fighting fellow members of their training camps?
PS: Well if it is to the point where it's a for a title or a title elimination bout then you know it's something that's gonna happen. If those guys are in the top 10, or if they're in a situation where you've got two top guys right there in title contention, I mean it's something that's gotta happen.
BH: Ok, let's get back to your opponent Eric. He was a state champion wrestler and I know he likes to stand and bang a bit more but are you concerned at all about his wrestling ability?
PS: Nah not particularly. Luigi (Fioravanti) has a pretty decent wrestling pedigree and he trained with a great team, American Top Team and it really wasn't an issue with him. He took me down a couple times but I got right back up to my feet so that's not that big of a deal. Then with uh Georges St. Pierre, I actually reversed him twice when he and I fought. Everybody's gameplan against me is the same so Eric's not gonna do anything against me that I haven't seen before. With that being said, everyone approaches me the same way. They say they're gonna strike, and then they strike until they taste a little bit of something and then it's like "now I gotta take you down." And that's my whole career, it's nothing that I'm not ready to see come this Saturyday. I've been doing this for years and nobodies ever tried to strike with me so I'm not anticipating that either. At the same time, I've been in there with some of the best in the world. It's work, this is the game we play and we've both been doing it for a long time. It's no secret about my game, I'm gonna go in there and try to knock your head off, period.
BH: Do you have a prediction for this fight?
PS: If I have to make a prediction, I predict that I'm gonna go for the finish, I'm going for the KO. And that's with every fight, there's no exception with Eric. It could be Georges St. Pierre standing across from me. I'm gonna go in there and try to take your head off. That's my only prediction, ever.
BH: Ok, well you've had a few injuries in the past, most recently a neck problem that led to your last loss against Keith Wisniewski. Now that you've had this four month layoff, do you feel you're in good shape physically?
PS: Yeah, yeah, I mean, my camp was good, my neck is good, so there's no issue. It didn't look like anything was wrong when I fought Luigi. I'm good, I'm good, I'm ready to go.
BH: You've had three fights with the MFC promotion, two in the past year. Are you planning on continuing to fight for them are you going to branch off to Shark fights and other promotions?
PS: Well Shark Fights is a one fight deal. I'm only exclusive with MFC throughout Canada, so you know, any other opportunities out there in the US or anywhere else, I'm open to fight. The money just has to be right. As far as the MFC, I'm sure I'll be going back. My contract actually expires with them in October, but I'm sure I'll be going back and fighting for MFC again.
BH: Yeah, especially because you just had the two wins in a row for MFC
PS: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
BH: Let's look at your legacy a bit. You've been around the block, you've been fighting for a long time against some of the best fighters in the world. You were once offered a UFC title shot against Matt Hughes and you turned it down because of some money issues as well as a couple other things. Do you regret that now, looking back a bit?
PS: I don't make any decisions that I regret. I refused to be pimped out by the UFC in that particular instance. Initially when I signed with the UFC it was gonna be pretty much a building process. I go out, and I fight Zach Light and I beat him and then my next fight is with Carlos Newton, the former champ. I'm like "is this building or not?" and so they told me I didn't have to fight but they would find somebody else. So you tell me, what do you make? So I take the fight, I lose to Carlos, and they give me the fight I wanted all along, which was my last fight on my contract against Robbie Lawler. I think they were putting their money that Robbie Lawler was gonna beat me and that would be my last fight on my contract so they wouldn't have to have anything else to do with me. But that didn't happen, I beat Robbie and my next fight is offered to Matt Hughes. They offered me 8 and 8 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 to win) and Hughes was given 50 and 50 so what decision do you make?
BH: Yeah that does seem unfair
PS: Yeah, exactly, exactly. So I made the decision that that's not the fight I wanted for that particular money.
BH: It's crazy now looking back, but then your next fight ended up being Georges St. Pierre outside the UFC. So you went from potentially fighting the current champion to fighting the future champion.
BH: Ok, I've got one more question for you. You probably saw this but Randy Couture just defeated James Toney at UFC 118 at 47 years old. How much longer do you plan on fighting and what do you plan on doing once your career is over?
PS: I don't know how much longer I'm gonna fight. As long as the game continues to be fun and I'm competitive and still learning then yeah, I'm gonna keep doing it. I can tell you this for sure though, the minute I get the crap beat out of me standing, I'll be retiring, but people won't stand up with me long enough to do that. But anyways, I'm not sure how long, it just depends. I have my gym and my jiu jitsu coach so I'm training fighters, I'm managing fighters, I'm doing all that already. That's typically going to be the progression going from fighter to trainer to manager and that's what I see for myself.
BH: OK, well I wish you the best of luck with that. Do you have any shoutouts to any sponsors or anyone you'd like to thank before I switch over to Eric (his opponent Eric Davila was also waiting to get interviewed next).