The UFC’s first event of 2011, UFC 125, has been dealt a major blow today with the news that heavyweight star Shane Carwin has been forced to pull out due to a back injury.

The heavyweight contender revealed the news on a new blog on his website.

“I am going to pull out of the fight with Roy Nelson. As many of you know I have been having some back pain. I had an MRI yesterday and I have some damage that may really require surgery. If the doctors do not have to perform surgery then I will be out 8-12 weeks. If they do have to perform surgery I do not know how long I will be out of action.”

This is disappointing news for all concerned.  Carwin Vs Nelson had been seen as a strong co-main event to help add interest to a fight card headlined by Frankie Edgar Vs Gray Maynard – a title fight that many fear is not going to grab the public’s imagination.

This was also seen as a fight that could potentially establish the next contender for the winner of Cain Velasquez Vs Junior Dos Santos, and / or Brock Lesnar’s next opponent.

Now the UFC must look for another fighter to step in for Carwin and as it stands my money is on Frank Mir who is currently not scheduled to fight and should have enough time to prepare for a January 1st fight.