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Lincoln’s Perrault to fight Saturday

MMA fighter trained by Lincoln’s Pete Sprague
By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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Lincoln’s Eriq Perrault, an amateur mixed martial arts fighter, will have his second bout on Saturday night. Standing almost six-feet tall and fighting in the 160-pound weight class, Eriq “The Assault” Perrault will battle Placerville’s Jesse Roberts (2-1 record) at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville. Perrault won his first-ever fight on April 30 against the previously undefeated Chaz Sanchez, knocking out Sanchez in the second round. These fights are part of the California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization. “I feel like mentally I did a really good job,” Perrault said. “It wasn’t just going to the gym and working out (in preparation for the fight). It was a mental game also. Keeping myself calm and knowing that I’ll get hit and just not worry about it. And relax.” Perrault lives in Lincoln with his head trainer and manager Pasquale (Pete) Sprague. Sprague, the son of former Lincoln mayor Ray Sprague, also lives with his wife Laura and their 10-month old son Giovanni. Perrault, 20, started training with Pete Sprague and assistant trainer/ marketing director Chris Revelino about 11 months ago. Revelino also lives in Lincoln. Sprague is a former amateur boxer and pro MMA fighter. He graduated from Lincoln High in 1996 and was co-captain of the Lincoln wrestling team in high school along with World Extreme Cagefighting star Urijah Faber (1997 graduate). Sprague retired from fighting less than two years ago. “I used to fight so I have all the stuff and the garage is all set up for it,” said Sprague, about how he hooked up with Perrault. “And my friend told me that (Perrault) was interested (in fighting) and that he had some experience - and he really had none. And we met and I told him that he had to be serious. And (if he was) we would make the rest happen.” Sprague demands that Perrault be serious and he is very serious about Perrault’s career as well. Sprague feels like he could have done more with his own fighting career. “I took it for granted and I didn’t take it serous enough,” Sprague said. “I told Eriq I wouldn’t ever let him do that – and it makes it a lot easier for (the fighter) if all you have to worry about is fighting. I’ll handle everything else.” Sprague talked about how much Perrault has improved over the last 11 months. “It’s a night and day difference,” he said. “We’re talking about someone that basically didn’t understand the idea of throwing kicks and punching. He wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t technical as far as what I’ve made him. He can outbox just about anybody and his kicks are deadly . . . and he has a wrestling background.” Perrault, who wrestled while at Wheatland High, knows he has a good thing going with Sprague. “I’ve learned everything that I know today (from Sprague),” Perrault said. “Pete has taught me everything that I know when it comes to punching and kicking and stopping a take down. I’m clay to him and he’s molding me. Everything I do is because of him. Him and Chris, they are the best coaches I’ve ever had. “I started working with Pete and I had to get serious (about fighting). I had to give Pete 100 percent from day one. I decided I needed to get serious and the minute I had a fight (on April 30) everything kind of sunk in and now it’s really buckling down time.” Perrault works full time at the Roseville Galleria and says that he trains with Sprague and Revelino for about 28 hours per week. Perrault is confident going into Saturday’s fight. “I’m a lot more relaxed,” said Perrault, comparing how he feels now to how he felt in April. “I expected going in there, I expected a lot worse . . . It wasn’t a gladiator battle . . . it was a fight. It was a confidence booster. “I know how to protect myself and I don’t need to worry about that. Going into this fight I’m not as stressed.” Sprague is also expecting good things on Saturday and he says it is possible that Perrault could turn pro in the not so distant future. “Based on how he looks in this fight and then winning, and I believe he is going to win, maybe six months from now we’ll do one more amateur fight and then go pro after that,” Sprague said. “I just want to make sure that he is purely ready before I turn him loose.” Perrault won’t push going pro, he will simply do what he is told. “Turning pro – that is huge. Stepping into this and knowing that I’m going to give it 100 percent . . . going pro is huge but that’s all up to Pete,” said Perrault, who also made a point of thanking God for everything he has done for him. “I listen to (Sprague) and he’ll know when I’m ready and I’ll know when I’m ready . . . I’m expecting a lot from this (fighting) and I expect to be a pro (in the future).” Sprague encourages people to come out to Saturday’s fight. “He is an exciting type fighter – if you want to see people get knocked out instead of a wrestling match, he is the one to come see,” Sprague said. Visit camo-mma.org for more information on Saturday’s fight, which starts at 6 p.m.