by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Pete “The Secret Weapon” Spratt is at a crossroads.
After nearly retiring from combat sports a couple years ago, he experienced a resurgence after appearing on the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter. But now, after two losses in a row, he must step up and find his old form at Saturday’s HDNet Fights in Dallas if he hopes to return to the big time.
If there’s anyone that knows how to rebound, however, it’s Spratt.
Over the course of his eight-year career, he has been counted out before, only to come back and prove that he is one of the most talented and entertaining fighters in the welterweight division.
Wins over Zack Light, current EliteXC Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler, and most recently, Jeremy Jackson, have all shown that even in the face of adversity, Spratt is never one to be counted out.
“I’ve had a string of bad luck here,” he admitted to MMAWeekly recently. “I end up dominating and punishing my opponents and then end up making a mistake and getting caught in a submission.
“I feel good (though). There’s just a few things that I need to get worked out. I’m not losing any of my skills, so I feel proud of where I’m at. I just need to get over the hump. Once I think I get over the hump, I’ll be good.”
Step one for Spratt getting over that hump could come this weekend at the American Airlines Center for the debut mixed martial arts show of the famed owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban.
It’s an opportunity that Spratt is excited to be a part of, not only for himself, but also for MMA as a whole.
“It sounds like it’s going to be a good promotion,” he commented. “You don’t see Mark Cuban fail at too many things, so this could probably be pretty big for the sport. So far everything’s been good.”
On the card, which also features fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans Justin Eilers, Drew Fickett, and Erik Paulson, he is scheduled to take on a fighter nearly half his age in TJ Waldburger.
“I know he’s young; he’s 19. I know he’s got a submission background, but I really don’t know much too much (more) about him,” said Spratt. “Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know, but I’m just going to go in there and do my thing and dictate the fight and make him have to adjust to what I’m doing.”
When asked if he feels he has to make a statement in Saturday’s fight, he replied with veteran poise, “A win’s a win, whether it’s a devastating win or submission or whatever the case may be. I just need to get a win.
“I’m not concerned with making any kind of statements at this point. I’ve been in the business a long time. When I was a young buck, trying to get into the sport, that’s when I felt like I needed to make a point. But I’ve been around long enough to know that I don’t need to make any points. I just need to put a string of wins together and that will put me in a pretty good position.”
And where does Spratt hope to go next with his career if he does manage to get a win this weekend?
“I’d like to, of course, be at where I feel is home, and that’s the UFC,” he admitted.
“Once I secure a win in this fight this weekend, I may get a call from (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva, I may not. The main thing to me is to keep fighting, keep staying busy and keep stringing wins, and then I’ll definitely be back in the UFC very quickly.”
Regardless of what happens in his fighting career, there’s always the myriad of entertainment projects that the multi-talented Spratt can fall back on as well.
“I’m shooting a movie called ‘Cross the Line 2′ in New York for three weeks in December,” he said. “I’ve also been submitted for another role that’s going to be shot here in Texas, in Austin, and I’m meeting with the casting director on Saturday.
“I’ve got an agent that’s helping me with my entertainment, endorsements and stuff like that with IMG, and they’re doing some good things for me. I’m able to explore other avenues and get some bigger things in the movie business.”
And then there is his emerging music career.
“My CD just recently (went) in Best Buy stores,” announced Spratt. “So you can pick that up … now.”
“I’m actually going to start working on my second album and, hopefully, I can get that out next year. Right now, just putting … some mix tapes together and continuing to promote my current CD that’s out right now, which is called ‘Real’.”
Outside projects aside, however, Spratt is firmly focused on the task at hand, picking up a win at this weekend’s HDNet Fights in Dallas and using that to springboard through the rest of this year and into 2008.
“I want to say thanks to my sponsors, 210 Fight Gear and EAS Nutritional Supplement Company,” said Spratt. “Check out my website, TheRealPeteSpratt.com, and check out MySpace.com/PeteSpratt for my personal page and MySpace.com/PeteSpratt2 for my music page.
“If you’re in the Dallas area, come out to the American Airlines Center and check out the show, it’s going to be a great card. Most definitely, I think I’ll be fight of the night.”