by MMAWeekly.com
Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight titleholder Matt Serra has had to withdraw from his Dec. 29 title defense against Matt Hughes due to injury.

UFC president Dana White announced the withdrawal via the promotion’s website early Friday morning. Evidently, Serra suffered a herniated disc in his lower back following a routine training session in his Long Island, N.Y. gym.

“This is devastating news because they were so looking forward to fighting each other,” said White. “Unfortunately, injuries happen and I look forward to Serra recovering quickly, and to getting him back into the Octagon.”

Serra had just finished a Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling training session and was demonstrating a move when he fell to the floor in excruciating pain. He went to the hospital and underwent an MRI, which revealed the herniated disc in his lower back.

“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” said Serra. “I’ve never had a back injury before; I could hardly get off the MRI table. There is no way I can train through this, and I’m devastated, especially because this was such an important fight. I was looking forward to fighting Matt Hughes. All my training was going phenomenally until Monday – All I can do now is to get better and to fight again as soon as possible.”