Pete Spratt – The (not so) Secret Weapon
Nathan Gunn will fight Pete “The Secret Weapon” Spratt tonight at MFC 22. Nathan has watched Spratt on tape and states, “One thing that sticks in my head and will stay there until the end of the fight is that his most dangerous weapon is his lethal kicks.” Although Gunn’s standup has improved, there is no doubt that Gunn will close the distance and try to take down Spratt. It’s the same strategy that every one of Spratt’s opponents have utilized. Fighters have seen Spratt fight for years and it is no secret what he is capable of in the ring.
Spratt, who has a three fight deal with the MFC, has been fighting professionally for ten years and has fought the best Welterweights in the world – including Georges St-Pierre, Carlos Newton, Josh Koscheck. Who has stood toe-to-toe with the Texas fighter? Spratt claims that “Nobody has ever decided to stand there and trade with me including GSP. Gunn’s game plan will be to close the distance and try to take me down. It’s nothing different from what I have seen in my whole career.” Has Spratt seen any of Gunn’s fights? “I know Gunn’s name, I know he is 7-0, and that is all I know.”
Even strikers take the fight to the mat after initially working their standup against Pete. “Some people may say they are strikers, but the first time they taste my leather, they suddenly try to become the best wrestler they can be.” One example is John Alessio, who defeated Spratt last year. “I broke his arm with one of my famous kicks,” before Alessio submitted Spratt via Rear Naked Choke.
The 38-year old Spratt realizes he is coming into Edmonton to be a step up the Welterweight ladder for his undefeated Canadian opponent – just as he was for Ryan Ford. “It is what it is. It is why they are bringing me in. I feel like I am the underdog. For most of my big fights, it is me going to other person’s hometown or me going to other person’s country. No different than other situations in my career. Just like GSP. I came to Montreal to fight him just before he got his shot to the UFC. I am used to being brought in to be a stepping stone for guys to get to bigger or better things and this fight is no different.”
Is there a home country advantage for Gunn? “It does not really matter where you are fighting. A fight is a fight. Honestly, the fans don’t fight for you. You can get extra motivation or you can get added pressure. There are advantages and disadvantages.”
The canvas may not be an advantage for Gunn either. Spratt has submitted his opponents only one less time, eight, than the nine times that he has TKO’d or knocked out his opponents. In fact, he arm barred Alan Woods in the first round of his last fight. Working with Rodrigo Pinheiro in Rodrigo’s San Antonio gym, where Spratt is also a trainer, has greatly improved the former college football athlete’s ground game.
Spratt, along with Marvin Eastman, could be considered an early pioneer of the football player converting to MMA athlete trend currently seen on The Ultimate Fighter 10 with four former NFL players competing. “All the guys I played ball with thought I was crazy 10 years ago. I was not one to do a 9 to 5 job. MMA gives these really althletic guys an opportunity to gain notoriety and become a professional athlete without making the NFL. Those guys don’t want a real day job either. Can’t do NFL, then come on over to MMA.”
The 7-0 Gunn also believes he has an advantage due to Spratt spreading himself to thin with his MMA, music, and movie careers. Pete sets him straight. “Nathan has some bad information thinking that I am splitting my time between music, acting, and fighting.” His album, Real! which is available on iTunes, came out three years ago after his Ultimate Fighter 4 appearance in 2006 and he has not made a movie in a similar time frame.
I cannot help asking the Secret Weapon what he would do if he won an award for his music and Kanye West interrupted his acceptance speech. Spratt laughs and quickly states, “Kanye takes a stage nap. He is not standing on dirt so I could not give him a dirt nap. He would be put to sleep whether I would have had to choke him out or kick him in the face.”
And what is going to happen to Nathan Gunn on October 2? “My prediction is that I always look for a KO finish. I have pretty nice head kicks and I got a nice right hand too.”