Contracts have not been signed, according to sources, but both sides have verbally agreed to the 170-pound matchup. The bout will take place at a UFC 264 pay-per-view event, at a location to be determined. UFC 264 will be headlined by a five-round non-title lightweight fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
Burns (19-4) is coming off a failed title bid against defending champion and former teammate Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 in February. Burns earned a title shot with a four-fight win streak between 2019 and 2010, including dominant performances against Demian Maia and former champion Tyron Woodley.
Fighting out of Sanford MMA in Florida, Burns wobbled Usman early in that title fight with punches, before succumbing to punches himself in the third round.
Thompson (16-4-1) is coming off a convincing five-round decision over a top prospect in Geoff Neal on Dec. 19. A former two-time title challenger, Thompson is riding back-to-back wins over two of the most dangerous men in the division in Neal and Vicente Luque (20-7-1).
Fighting out of South Carolina, Thompson challenged then-champion Tyron Woodley for the UFC title twice in 2016 and 2017, but came up short both times. He is 2-2 since his second fight against Woodley.