A disappointing announcement was made yesterday by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman has sustained a hairline fracture to his hand in training, and will not be able to defend his title as scheduled in December.

Dana White stated via Twitter that February has been targeted for a rescheduled title defense for Weidman, who was to face Vitor Belfort in Las Vegas at UFC 181.

A high profile replacement has been already arranged for the UFC 181 event however, as Johny Hendricks will defend his UFC welterweight championship against Robbie Lawler as the event’s new headliner.

Hendricks and Lawler fought for the title back in March at UFC 171, after the belt had been vacated by the UFC’s longtime 170 lb kingpin Georges St-Pierre. The bout was one of the year’s most memorable title fights, with Hendricks earning a unanimous decision after five hard-fought rounds.

Several scheduled UFC championship bouts in 2014 have failed to come to fruition. Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao’s was scheduled to challenge Champion TJ Dillashaw last month, but Barao was forced to bow out due to medical issues as a result of his attempts to cut weight. Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones was scheduled to face Daniel Cormier at this weekend’s UFC 178, but an injury postponed that bout until 2015.

Caged Insider will have coverage of UFC 178 this weekend, including a full play-by-play account of the event.