The Ultimate Fighting Championship's plans for a spectacular debut in the Middle East took a hit on Thursday when an injured shoulder forced Vitor Belfort to withdraw from his middleweight title fight with champion Anderson Silva at UFC 112 on April 10 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the news in a text message to Yahoo! Sports on Thursday. White said Silva would remain on the card, but did not say whom he would fight or whether it would be a championship fight.
The Brazilian website, Tatame first reported the news. It quoted Jayme Sandall, one of Belfort's coaches, as saying "He was training but not using the arm for a long time because of the injury."
White was in a meeting Thursday afternoon and could not be reached for comment or additional details.
A lightweight championship fight between B.J. Penn and top contender Frankie Edgar is still on the card.