Two men enter, two men leave.
At least, that’s the result of a recent spar between retired Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Randy Couture, a Lynnwood High School alumnus, and actor Chris Pratt, a Lake Stevens High School alum. Pratt posted to his Facebook page about hitting the mat for a low-stakes grapple with Couture, a three-time UFC heavyweight title holder and two-time light-heavyweight champion.
“Randy first coached me when I was 17 at Oregon State University wrestling camp,” Pratt wrote, later recalling how he got Coach Couture on his back “Not once, not twice … but three times.”
Known for his goofy and lovable Andy Dwyer from “Parks & Recreation,” galaxy-defending Peter Quill/Star-Lord in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the velociraptor-training Owen Grady in “Jurassic World,” Pratt grew up in Lake Stevens. There, he excelled as a wrestler during the mid- to late-1990s.
His hometown has remained an anchor for him as his celebrity status grew, as Herald reporter Kari Bray noted back in 2014, ahead of Pratt’s first “Saturday Night Live” appearance as a host.
In 2016, Pratt used his star power to generate $485,000 toward building a new Lake Stevens Boys & Girls Club. With Omaze, Pratt raffled off tickets at $10 each, spending a day with him on the set of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.” The money raised allowed the Boys & Girls Club to build a teen center almost twice the size of what was originally planned.
When the teen center opened in spring of 2017, it was named in the memory of his father, Dan Pratt. Ahead of the opening, Chris Pratt explained why the center was important for him and his hometown.
“There’s heroin in our school. I can’t believe it,” he said. “Which is a huge reason why I wanted to create a safe space where teens can spend time when their parents are working. Keep them away from temptation and trouble.”
Similarly, Pratt reflected in his Jan. 29 Facebook post about the role of sports in his life as a teenager.
“… Gotta love the wrestlers mentality and work ethic. It’s a great sport which helped keep me out of trouble when I was younger and taught me how to grind. I’ve always said it, wrestling made me who I am today …”
Couture was a prolific high school, collegiate and Olympic grappler. He won a state title at Lynnwood High School, qualified for two NCAA finals and served as a three-time Olympic alternate. Like Pratt, he ventured into Hollywood as an actor in a blockbuster action franchise (“The Expendables”).
So, how did this friendly battle royale between two Snohomish County sons-turned Hollywood mega-celebrities end? Watch Pratt’s video and decide for yourself.