12-1 heavyweight Shane Carwin has withdrawn his name from the list of competitors slated to enter the Octagon at UFC 125 due to undisclosed back problems shelving him for the next few months. Carwin was scheduled to fight former IFL champ and Ultimate Fighter Season 10 winner Roy Nelson in a co-headlining bout at the New Year’s Day event.

News of the decision came via Carwin’s website where he elaborated on the situation, as well as why he felt it was in his best interest to get healthy before re-entering the ring.

“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.

I was really looking forward to fighting again and obviously this is a very disappointing turn of events. My manager said “You can’t fight the best fighters in the world with just heart, it is time to stop limping to the top of the mountain and get healthy so you can climb it on your terms.” I have been up all night thinking about this decision and what I may be missing by making it.

In the end my family and manager are right. I owe myself, I owe my fans the best show I can give them. I need to get healthy. I am going to be speaking with the surgeon this week about the surgery. My thoughts are if the surgery fixes it why add 8-12 weeks of physical therapy, epidurals and traction if surgery may still be needed.

The good news is the doctors said I can work on my cardio (they must have seen my last fight lol) with this injury.”

Carwin started off his career with twelve straight first-round finishes and nearly defeated then-UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 116 last July before falling victim to exhaustion and a subsequent second-round submission.

As stated earlier, the opening created by Carwin’s departure from the January 1st, 2011 event leaves Nelson without a foe to face at UFC 125 though it seems likely a replacement will be named in the coming weeks. “Big Country” is coming off a decision-loss to top heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos in August at UFC 117 after putting together back-to-back TKO wins over Brendan Schaub and Stefan Struve.