Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed the news to MMA Fighting with verbal agreements in place from the athletes. MMA Ideas initially reported that the fight was in the works.
Both fighters currently hold a spot in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings at 205 pounds, with Smith tied for No. 8 and Walker tied for No. 11.
Smith returns to action after he was originally expected to meet Jamahal Hill in March but those plans were scrapped after Hill got pulled into a title fight against Glover Teixeira at UFC 283. Smith actually ended up helping Hill prepare for the fight, which he won via a lopsided decision to capture the UFC light heavyweight title.
Now Smith looks to resume his own career while attempting to perhaps get a future shot at Hill’s belt when he faces Walker in May. Overall, Smith is 3-1 in his past four fights with his only loss coming to Magomed Ankalaev after he suffered a broken ankle that led to a TKO finish.
Meanwhile, Walker attempts to build on a two-fight win streak of his own after he picked up wins over Paul Craig and Ion Cutelaba. Once hailed as the future of the division, Walker endured a tough 1-4 run in the UFC before righting the ship to earn back-to-back victories. He now gets the chance to return to the main event spotlight.
Smith vs. Walker is expected to serve as the main event on May 13, although a location for the card has not been determined yet.
Guilherme Cruz contributed to this report.