Vitor Belfort has reportedly suffered an undisclosed injury and has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 122 "title eliminator" fight against Yushin Okami on Nov. 13 in Oberhausen, Germany, according to MMA Weekly.
Stepping in for "The Phenom" will be former division number one contender Nate Marquardt, who will now face "Thunder" in the main event of the Spike TV telecast after a "Great" performance against Rousimar Palhares at UFC Fight Night 22 earlier this month.
Opportunity once again came knocking, thanks largely in part to a dreadful year for the hard-hitting Brazilian.
After a lingering shoulder injury became too much to bear, Belfort pulled out of his UFC 112 middleweight title fight against reigning division champion Anderson Silva at the Concert Arena from Ferrari World, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, back on April 10.
It was the second time his bout with "The Spider" was postponed. They were initially penciled in to collide at UFC 108 earlier this year; however, minor elbow surgery for Silva postponed the all-Brazilian brawl until Spring.
Perhaps it wasn't (or isn't) meant to be -- Belfort has yet to make his middleweight debut and hasn't seen the inside of the Octagon since a first round destruction of former division champion Rich Franklin in a 195-pound catchweight fight back at UFC 103 on Sept. 19, 2009.
At this time, the UFC has yet to make an official announcement regarding any changes to the Nov. 13 line-up; however, that hasn't stopped Internet conspiracy theorists from somehow tying this into Chael Sonnen's recent drug bust at the hands of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).
With a year long suspension likely awaiting the mouthy ex-politician, Anderson Silva will be left without an opponent for early 2011. UFC 122: "Belfort vs. Okami" was supposed to provide the next top contender, but now the promotion may once again shuffle the deck depending on the timeline for Belfort's return.
Either Nate Marquardt or Yushin Okami are likely to leave Oberhausen with first dibs on the middleweight strap. But who will be wearing it by the time they get there? That remains to be seen.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more information on this breaking news as it continues to unfold.