The former UFC heavyweight champion Werdum (23-9-1 MMA, 11-6 UFC) claims Gustafsson (18-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC) is embellishing the story he shared with reporters about their sparring session years back. Gustafsson, who makes his heavyweight debut against Werdum on Saturday at UFC on ESPN 14, said he sparred Werdum in 2012 and beat him up “bad”
Werdum confirmed they did indeed sparred at a California gym, but it didn’t quite go that way Gustafsson remembers.
“I don’t remember that, I think he made up a bit of it,” Werdum told reporters, including MMA Junkie, through an interpreter on Tuesday at UFC on ESPN 14 media day. “He cut my nose, but he didn’t break it and you don’t talk about that, you don’t talk about training, but he remembers. We were training at Mark Munhoz’s gym with Travis Browne and Gustafsson. I offered myself to go train there and ended up training with both of them many rounds.”
Whatever the truth is behind their sparring session, Werdum doesn’t think the rounds in training with Gustafsson will affect the fight. After all, it was years ago.
“I don’t think so because that was along time ago, that was like eight years ago,” Werdum said in the UFC on ESPN 14 virtual media day. “So I’m not worried about that. I’m prepared which is the most important. Yes, the sparring happened, but that was a while ago, so it doesn’t make a difference.”
Werdum looks to bounce back from a split-decision loss to Aleksei Oleinik in May at UFC 249. It was his first fight back after serving a two-year suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
The Brazilian, who is on the final fight of his current UFC contract, said he’s focused on the fight but hinted a move on from UFC could be on the horizon.
“I’m 100 percent focus on this,” Werdum said. “In Brazil we say, ‘Leave through the front door,’ which means leave on good term.”
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/fabricio-werdum-sparring-session-alexander-gustafsson-broken-nose-ufc-on-espn-14/