Darren Towler has suffered an injury and will be unable to defend his Ultimate Challenge MMA heavyweight title against Neil Grove at UCMMA 31.

Promotion officials announced the news on Thursday, revealing that Towler “ripped his shoulder muscle” and could be out until 2013. Stepping in to replace Towler will be interim Cage Fighters Championship titlist Tomasz Czerwinski, who now meets Grove for the interim UCMMA belt on Dec. 1 at The Troxy in London.

“I am totally gutted to have drop out of such a big fight on a big stage. I love to fight [for] UCMMA, and I was looking forward to defending my silverware and bringing the win home [for] Christmas,” Towler said in the official release. “I would like to apologize to Neil Grove, and I hope we can get the fight on again in the New Year. Of course, I want to apologize to [UCMMA promoter] Dave O’Donnell and to all the people that bought tickets to come and watch me fight.”

In Czerwinski, Grove faces a 10-fight pro who owns three of his four victories by way of knockout. The Polish heavyweight has already competed five times under the UCMMA banner, posting a 2-3 promotional record. Czerwinski recently snapped a three-fight skid in July, when he stopped the previously unbeaten Kevin Camp in just 85 seconds to win the interim CFC heavyweight belt.

“I am so excited to step [in] and take on a former UFC, Bellator and Cage Rage star, but this fight is no exception,” Czerwinski said. “Grove is getting knocked out just like any other opponent of mine.”

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