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Chris Weidman injured; title fight versus Vitor Belfort pushed to February

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort won’t fight at UFC 181 after all.

Weidman has suffered a hand injury, which has forced him out of the UFC 181 on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas. Belfort posted the news on his Facebook page on Monday.

"I’ve just received the news that Chris Weidman broke his hand and, for what everything points to, our fight is gonna be moved to February," Belfort wrote.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the news with Ariel Helwani and said that the promotion is now planning on staging the middleweight title fight in February.

According to Weidman's head coach Ray Longo, the middleweight champion was flown to Los Angeles on Monday after complaining of discomfort in his left hand. Weidman said on The MMA Hour after his win over Lyoto Machida in July that he suffered sprained ligaments in his left hand three weeks before the title fight and could not use it in the days leading up to the fight. On Monday, a doctor informed Weidman that he in fact fractured the hand, and the doctor believed this was an old injury. Longo said he believes Weidman fought Machida with a fractured hand and that the original injury was misdiagnosed.

"Everything happens for a reason," Longo said. "We're going to get Chris healthy and then we're going to steamroll this guy. Believe me."

Longo said Weidman, who was flying back to New York from Los Angeles when contacted by, currently has hand in a cast. White tweeted that Weidman's hand will be in a cast for four weeks, and, if all goes well, he'll be cleared to use it again in training in six weeks.

Weidman (12-0) was set to put his title on the line for the third time in less than a year. After stopping Anderson Silva twice in 2013, Weidman defeated Machida via unanimous decision in July.

Belfort (24-10), a former UFC light heavyweight champion, earned a second shot at the 185-pound gold after scoring knockout out Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson in 2013.

As a result, Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler 2 for the UFC welterweight title will now headline UFC 181, with Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez for the UFC lightweight title will serve as the co-main event.

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