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Morning Report: Gegard Mousasi accepted bout with Vitor Belfort, but 'The Phenom' turned him down

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Inovafoto, UFC

After hearing Gegard Mousasi explaining a down 2014 campaign due to 'being burnt out,' it was interesting to hear he'd be willing to jump back into action so soon.

Mousasi credited his Jan. 24 victory over Dan Henderson at UFC on FOX 15 largely to his attitude, using his near five-month layoff to regain some hunger to compete.

With UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman being forced to withdraw from his title bout with Vitor Belfort on Feb. 28, Mousasi says he was willing to step in for the champ at UFC 184 in Los Angeles.

"I was planning on going on holiday, but the UFC called me and asked me 'would you like to fight Vitor Belfort?' and I said I had to talk to my coaches because I didn't want to have that burn out feeling again of fighting just because you have a fight," Mousasi told FOX Sports. "I really wanted to take my rest, but after talking with my coaches and it was such a big opportunity and I was in the mood to fight."

Saying he was the UFC's backup to Lyoto Machida's 'Plan A,' Mousasi accepted the bout before Belfort ultimately turned both options down.

Belfort was reportedly willing to accept bouts against Yoel Romero and Mark Munoz to remain on the UFC 184 card, but neither seem to have come together.

"He's going for the belt, that's his main focus, he wants to have that achievement," said Mousasi. "That's his goal I believe. I understand he doesn't want to risk it. He doesn't want to risk losing and losing his title shot. It's a risk and at this point in his career, he doesn't need to take the risk.

"I can't blame him. I met him, I even trained with him once. It's not personal. They offered me the fight and I said yes. I've got nothing against him."

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

'I wouldn't mind seeing him retire on a ‘W'.' Admitting it would cost him a 'big money fight,' Chris Weidman says he'd rather see Anderson Silva call it a career.

Getting paid. Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz took home major paydays at UFC 183.

Super fight. Ed Soares believes a fight between Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva would be ‘bigger than UFC 100,' but St-Pierre's manager reaffirms that GSP 'has no plan of coming back.'

'He stayed the hell away from me.' Nick Diaz talks first-round antics against Anderson Silva at UFC 183.

''I feel he cannot his finish his dinner, let alone finish an opponent.' Conor McGregor is gunning for another stoppage but says he'll be ready to go five full rounds with Jose Aldo at UFC 189.

Watch The MMA Hour with Chris Weidman, Demetrious Johnson, Gilbert Melendez, Benson Henderson, Rashad Evans, Cesar Gracie, Ed Soares and Mike Dolce.

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MEDIA STEW

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More from Silva on his fighting future.

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Another great Anderson Silva spot from Budweiser Brazil.

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Anthony Johnson encourages fighters with weight issues to move up.

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Georges St-Pierre talks 'Kickboxer.'

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McGregor says he'll break Aldo 'mentally and physically.'

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Arianny Celeste vlogs her MMA Awards experience.

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I'm posting this purely for someone to confirm or deny this man was ever a pro fighter. Anyone have an ID on him?

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Long watches.

Knuckle Up #380: Why UFC 183 Silva vs Diaz was like watching a horror movie

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Submission Radio 1/2/15 King Mo, Frank Trigg + UFC 183

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Brendan Schaub plays the 'Doom' Marine on Mythbusters (via r/MMA)

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TWEETS

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Sounds good.

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Get well soon.

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Either way.

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Tanquinho.

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Beefin.' (There a lot more)

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Interesting.

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A new page...

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Banana.


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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Feb. 2 2015)

Gray Maynard vs. Alexander Yakovlev at UFC Fight Night: Lamas vs. Mendes

cancelled Raphael Assuncao vs. Urijah Faber at UFC Fight Night: Rio

Al Iaquinta vs. Jorge Masvidal at UFC Fight Night: Lamas vs. Mendes

Francis Carmont vs. Guilherme Viana at Bellator 135

Dakota Cochrane vs. Ryan Couture at Bellator 135

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via MikeMorganMMA

Urijah Faber talks Andy Ogle stoppage and potential McGregor match up


The long line of future opponents for King Conor McGregor has another addition as Urijah Faber expressed his wish to silence the brash Irishman. Speaking backstage at UFC Stockholm Faber told #WHOATV it'll will be the only reason he moves up in weight.

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Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.