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Mousasi: Belfort wanted to take me on

ESPN staff
April 4, 2013 « Roach: Pacquiao desperate for Marquez rematch | Chartbeat test »

Gegard Mousasi has revealed former UFC champion Vitor Belfort was close to being his replacement opponent for this weekend's headline bout in Sweden.

Mousasi was due to face Alexander Gustafsson on Saturday at UFC Sweden, but Gustafsson suffered a cut above his eye in training, and after much deliberation was forced to pull out of the fight. Earlier in the week, Mousasi wanted to go ahead with the fight regardless of who it was against.

UFC president Dana White slammed the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation (SMMAF), saying it was the "worst decision" he had seen to pull a fight.

Ilir Latifi has been drafted in as the last-minute replacement for Gustafsson, but Mousasi has said Belfort could have been the fighter to step in for Gustafsson. Belfort last fought in Brazil last January against Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7.

"Vitor Belfort stepped up, and there were talks with my manager, and he wanted to take the fight on short notice," Mousasi told MMA Junkie. "So we would have gladly accepted that fight."

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