"I've probably had some issues with my back for the past couple years," Belcher said. "And I need some time off. This time it hit me in the middle of this training camp. Actually, the night that I signed the fight with Vitor I came in the next day to train, and 10 minutes into the training session I was laying on the floor and I laid on there for an hour with an ice pack. This time it kept me out for three weeks."
While it might have seemed to make sense to pull out of the fight at this point, he decided to continue on.
"I went to the doctor's he took some X-rays," Belcher said. "He said, there's this bone on the bottom of your spine that's got a fracture on both sides. It looks like it might have been there awhile but you've pushed it over the limit. You can rest, get some intensive therapy but you're probably not going to be able to train for the fight. So I had to make the decision, I took three weeks off, started feeling a little better and I started hitting it hard. At the end of that week my back starting flaring up again."
Belcher finally made the decision to take some time off when the news broke that Belfort accepted a shot at Jon Jones' light heavyweight title on Sept. 22 in Toronto, and thus would no longer fight Belcher.
"That's the news I needed to make this decision," Belfort said. "If you're not going to be 100 percent, don't do it. Don't fight with injuries, don't fight out of shape, and never give up. That's it, that's the three reasons that I'll never lose a fight if I can help it. I fought with some injuries before but at this time, at the level that I"m at, it's not worth it man. I would have only made it worse."