The UFC’s end of year show took a hit today with the news that former heavyweight No.1 contender Shane Carwin has had to withdraw from his upcoming fight at UFC 141.

In a statement on his own website Carwin revealed that the recurrence of a back problem has left him requiring surgery before he is able to compete again.

“As I ramped up my training for UFC 141 my body locked up during training. It wasn’t like the Lesnar fight but my back just tightened up and I froze. I scheduled an MRI and the results showed that my disc in my lower back is into the nerves . My doctor gave me two options; retire and I could probably go on for a few years without surgery or I could undergo surgery and continue my career.

The decision was easy. I have unfinished business. The UFC had me lined up to face one of the best in the world and I am confident I have everything I need to be a Champion.”

Unfortunately it’s going to be a while before he gets a chance to prove it as the surgery will keep him out of action for at least the early months of next year.

“I am scheduling surgery and I hope to return to the Octagon by spring or summer 2012.”

Carwin previously had back surgery in November of 2010 and didn’t return until June of the following year. The fact that less than a year later he’s now facing another operation is concerning for his long-term future in the sport, especially given that he’ll turn 37 in January.

Hopefully he’ll make a full and speedy recovery as he’s still one of the top contenders in a division that’s not got a lot of strength in depth at this moment in time.

Meanwhile there’ll still be guaranteed heavyweight action at UFC 141 on December 30th with Brock Lesnar vs Alistair Overeem already set as the main event.

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