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Michael Bisping: Vitor Belfort turned down Anderson Silva rematch

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Earlier this month, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced Michael Bisping vs. Gegard Mousasi middleweight showdown for its return to the UFC Fight Pass digital network inside O2 Arena in London, England, which takes place on Feb. 27, 2016.

Then out of the blue, "The Dreamcatcher" was bumped for ex-division champion Anderson Silva.

Not that anyone in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community was complaining, mind you, it just seemed unusual after reports had surfaced that Silva was in talks to rematch longtime Brazilian nemesis Vitor Belfort.

"Vitor Belfort turned the fight down," Bisping told reporters on this week's media call (via FOX Sports). "When Dana called me and said the opponent had changed from Gegard (Mousasi) to Anderson (Silva), I was thrilled. I always wanted to show the world that I could beat Anderson and I know I can and I get to do that in February."

Silva stopped Belfort at UFC 126 back in 2011.

Since that time, "The Spider" lost his middleweight title, broke his leg, and tested positive for steroids. Safe to say the Brazilian is on a mission to get past those turbulent times and return to the win column, a place he hasn't seen since his 2012 destruction of Stephan Bonnar.

For more on his upcoming "Count" clash at UFC Fight Night 83 click here.