Jiri Prochazka is no longer UFC light heavyweight champion after vacating the title due to a shoulder injury and pulling out of his scheduled title defense against Glover Teixeira at December 10th's UFC 282.
The new main event for the show will see former champion Jan Blachowicz take on Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant title.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports was the first to report the news of Prochazka's injury and subsequent changes.
Teixeira was offered a shot against Ankalaev, but turned it down due to short preparation time. He did say he would fight Ankalaev at January's UFC 283 in Brazil, but that was turned down by the UFC.
He also suggested fighting Blachowicz on December 10, but that was turned down by the UFC as they wanted a fresh matchup with Ankalaev instead of a rematch between Teixeira and Blachowicz. Teixeira defeated Blachowicz for the title at UFC 267 in October 2021.
Prochazka's shoulder injury is bad enough that he will likely be out of action for a year, if not more, and "out of respect to the athletes and the division, Prochazka has elected to vacate his title and will compete for the belt as soon as he is medically cleared," according to a UFC press release.
It is expected that he will receive an immediate title shot once he is ready to return to action. Teixeira, meanwhile, is hopeful to fight the winner of the fight between Blachowicz and Ankalaev as the first title defense.
"This is the worst shoulder injury the doctors have seen in UFC history," UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports. "His shoulder is very, very bad. He's going to have serious surgery that will require extensive rehab."
According to ESPN, the recovery could take up to a year.
UFC 282 takes place on December 10 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.