UFC middleweight Darren Till has withdrawn from his scheduled UFC Fight Night main event against Jack Hermansson on Dec. 5 due to a knee injury and has been replaced by surging contender Kevin Holland.
Till told ESPN that a lingering knee injury did not progress as he had hoped, knocking him out of the 185-pound contest this week.
All parties involved have agreed to the switch to Holland, sources told ESPN. The event will take place at UFC's Apex facility in Las Vegas and air on ESPN+.
It's a risky change for Hermansson (21-5) as far as rankings are concerned. The Swedish middleweight is ranked No. 4 in UFC's official rankings, and a win over the No. 6-ranked Till would have bolstered his case for a UFC title shot. Holland, despite winning his past four bouts, is currently unranked.
In an Instagram video posted Saturday, Hermansson said he wanted to fight again in 2020 and that Holland accepted the bout after several others turned it down.
"I was really looking forward to fighting Darren and would show you guys I'm the best middleweight in Europe and the true contender," Hermansson said. "I can only wish Darren Till a good recovery. When we got the news, we asked UFC for a replacement fight because the training camp has been going so good and I really want one more fight this year. So they started asking people above me in the rankings and below me in the rankings, and at least five guys turned the fight down. But there was one guy willing to fight and that was Kevin Holland."
Representatives for Hermansson told ESPN the UFC tried to find Hermansson a replacement opponent with a ranking, but multiple fighters in the top 10 declined. Despite the circumstances, Hermansson was determined to fight one more time before the end of the year.
Holland (20-5) has been one of the most active fighters in 2020, and is the only fighter on the UFC roster with four wins this year. The 28-year-old is coming off a first-round finish of Charlie Ontiveros last weekend, and expressed his interest in a quick return immediately after.
Should Holland defeat Hermansson on Dec. 5, he would become the first middleweight in UFC history to record five wins in a single calendar year.