Fabricio Werdum Explains Why Alexander Gustafsson Fight Was So Important in His Career

Published 12/02/2020, 6:30 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: Fabricio Werdum of Brazil celebrates after his submission victory over Alexander Gustafsson of Sweden in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum has a new lease of life. The former UFC heavyweight champion has left the promotion has now signed a lucrative contract with the PFL. ‘The Professional Fighters League’ is a tournament-based MMA promotion with the winner of each weight class being awarded the PFL belt and a $1 million prize.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: Fabricio Werdum of Brazil poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Werdum sat down with SCMP MMA and explained the importance of his last fight against Alexander Gustafsson. He claimed it was instrumental in providing him leverage at the negotiation table. He also believed his experience and mentality was key to his win. Furthermore, he believed that the win has instilled in him the belief that he can make a mark in the PFL.

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The former champion explained, “I have a lot of experience and when I prepare my body and mind, you see the last fight I had versus Gustafsson. He is 33 years old, and I’m 43, 10 years is a lot and I just showed in one minute and a half. I finished him and I think this is my experience.”

‘Vai Cavalo’ continued, “When I prepare my body, I just go. That’s it. I think it’s very important, and this is what I wanted to show when I started the fight in April. This (Gustafsson) was a very important victory, it was like fighting for the belt. I prepared my body and everything. I trained with Rafael Cordero in Kings MMA here in California in Los Angeles.”

Fabricio Werdum is mentally prepared

Werdum believes that mental preparation is key along with physical preparation. He continued, “I have a good conditioning coach, and everything I did. I have one more guy, Eric helped me in my mind too you know it’s like a combination. When you have a good combination, you prepare your body. Have a good technique and then prepare your mind in the same line, you’ll be a champ for sure.”

Fighters often go through a lot during fight camp, be it with physical injuries or emotional stress. Werdum thinks that his mindset is in the right place.

He said, “Sometimes your body is feeling very good, but my mind is not good. Sometimes it’s the opposite, my mind is very good, but my body doesn’t respond. But this time, I didn’t talk too much, I just showed inside the cage that my mind is like a fox.”

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The PFL missed out on the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic. They will now look to get things running for their 2021 season, having now signed Fabricio Werdum and boxing star Claressa Shields to their roster.

‘Vai Cavalo’ has already had the experience of being the UFC heavyweight champion. He unified the titles by submitting Cain Velasquez and will look at adding another gold belt to his collection at the PFL.

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Read: Claressa Shields Says ‘Million Dollar’ Prize Caught Her Attention in MMA 

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Keith Dsouza

193 articles

Keith D'Souza is part of the Essentially Sports MMA writing team. Having followed the sport since 2013, some of his favorite fighters include Max Holloway, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, and Johny Hendricks. Keith also runs PureMMAIndia, a brand that promotes MMA over social media which aims at growing the sport in India.

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