On second thought, those were just the cobwebs talking. Pete Spratt is back.
Spratt retired after his Legacy FC 23 bout with Tim Means on Friday night. It was Friday the 13th, which should have been an omen for the veteran fighter, who took a couple of big elbows that he never saw coming. When he’d recovered, he told the hometown crowd in San Antonio, "you’ve probably seen the last of Pete Spratt."
That was Friday. On Saturday, people kept telling him he’d been knocked out but back of the head strikes. On Sunday, Spratt watched the tape of his fight. On Monday, Spratt is an active fighter again.
John Lennon had a lost weekend that lasted 18 months. Pete Spratt’s retirement lasted one lost weekend.
"That was a retirement thing based on a guy who got hit in the back of the head, that was still groggy thinking about his family and that type of stuff, without having had the opportunity to review what actually happened in the fight," the 42-year old Spratt told MMA Fighting. "If I looked back at it and my skills had diminished, that would be different. But that wasn’t the case.
"Me, I was thinking I just went in there and got my butt kicked, which isn’t what happened after I watched the fight."
Spratt felt he was faster than Means and more than holding his own before the questionable elbows knocked him out. He is in the process of appealing the knockout with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which he hopes will be ruled a no-contest due to illegal strikes to the back of the head.
"Of course, I didn’t know nothing at the time it happened," he says. "I remember having [Means] clinched up along the fence and then waking up with a flashlight in my eyes. Everybody kept telling me, ‘he hit you in the back of the head,’ and one of my friends sent me a screen shot from the fight, and it’s clearly an elbow that’s in borderline foul territory, and maybe ‘no foul’ territory -- I’ll let the commission determine that. But it’s pretty close."
Spratt says he’s experiencing soreness behind his right ear and close to his neck, which would fall in the vicinity of the foul zone that is described as the cell phone area where the spinal column meets the skull. He was given a 60-day medical suspension after the KO, allowing him to return in November of this year. If the commission deems it an illegal foul, Spratt would like an immediate rematch with Means.
If not, the man who at one point upset Robbie Lawler and had the chance to fight Matt Hughes for the welterweight title, says he’ll continue fighting on.
"I’m having fun with the competition and at the same time I’m still learning and enjoying testing myself against these younger guys," he says. "If I wasn’t 42, people wouldn’t be talking about me retiring, or being in the twilight of my career. I never drank, never smoked, never abused my body negatively for me to be diminishing in my skills. Which I’m not."
The other thing Spratt reflected on over the weekend was that he might be spreading himself too thin. He cornered four Texas-based fighters at Legacy FC 23, which he says took away from his focus.
"I was cornering, wrapping hands, warming people up, as well as getting ready for a fight," he said. "So there was a lot of stuff going on for me that night. Whenever my next fight happens, I’m going to have to be more selfish and take time for myself. You’ve got your emotional ups and downs when cornering a guy, and that’s taxing in itself."