According to Walker’s team speaking to MMA Fighting on Tuesday, the Brazilian suffered the torn pectoral muscle and he will require immediate surgery in Ireland where he’s currently training.
While there’s no exact timeline for his return yet because Walker is just now preparing to have surgery, middleweight contender Jared Cannonier suffered a similar injury this past February and it kept him sidelined for about six months in recovery before he booked his next fight.
Walker is coming off a highlight-reel knockout win over Ryan Spann in his last appearance after finishing the fight in the first round at UFC Vegas 11 this past September. Overall, Walker is 4-2 in the UFC while maintaining his status as one of the top prospects in the light heavyweight division.
If his recovery time is similar to Cannonier, it’s likely that Walker will be able to return in late 2021.
As for Crute, he released a statement acknowledging that Walker had dropped out of their fight while adding that a new opponent has already accepted the chance to face him in March.
Crute has won back-to-back fights in the UFC after suffering the only loss of his career after falling by submission to Misha Cirkunov in 2019.
UFC officials have made no announcement regarding the injury to Walker or the change of opponents for Crute at the UFC 260 pay-per-view.