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Alexander Gustafsson claims he tooled Fabricio Werdum in sparring but ‘Vai Cavalo’ insists he ‘made it up’

Alexander Gustafsson is moving up to the heavyweight division after getting three chances to capture the 205-pound crown and coming up empty in all three attempts. His first assignment will be a UFC on ESPN 14 showdown against former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, though it sounds like “The Mauler” is already familiar with what the Brazilian brings to the table after training together a few years back.

“We had a good sparring,” Gustafsson told MMA Junkie. “I went all in, him and me and it was a good sparring. I don’t remember who I was fighting back then, but I was in camp, he was in camp for a fight, but make history short, I beat him in that sparring session. I beat him bad…then he didn’t want to spar me no more.”

But as they approach their July 25 cage fight, held on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, the 43 year-old Werdum recalls a much different experience. In fact, “Vai Cavalo” insists Gustafsson is telling tall tales and downplays any talk of a broken nose.

“I don’t remember that, I think he made up a bit of it,” Werdum fired back. “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.”

We’ll see who gets the better of the stand-up on Sat. night, while also keeping in mind that UFC on ESPN 14 will not be a sparring match and the submission-savvy Werdum is one of the most dangerous grapplers in all of combat sports.

To see who else is fighting this weekend on “Fight Island” click here.

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