UFC president Dana White subsequently confirmed the news to MMA Fighting following Wednesday's UFC 125 press conference at the MGM Grand Hotel.
"Yep, it's true," White gloomily responded when asked if Velasquez would have to be shelved. He said the summer of 2011 would hopefully bring Velasquez's return.
Velasquez, who defeated Brock Lesnar via first-round TKO to win the title at UFC 121 in October, is 9-0 in his young career. Speculation had his first title defense coming at UFC 129 in Toronto in April, but that will be put on hold.
It is unknown if No. 1 contender Junior dos Santos will receive a fight in the interim. Dos Santos has been on the sidelines since beating Roy Nelson by unanimous decision at UFC 117 in August.