A battle of lightweight contenders will serve as the co-headliner for Bellator 172 when Josh Thomson and Patricky Freire square off in San Jose, Calif. on Feb. 18.
The matchup was announced during the Bellator 171 broadcast on Friday night. Bellator 172 takes place at the SAP Center and is headlined by a heavyweight duel between Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione. The main card will be televised on Spike TV.
Thomson will be making his first promotional appearance since December 2015, when he stopped Pablo Villaseca via second-round technical knockout at Bellator 147. The former Strikeforce champion debuted in the California-based organization with a third-round submission of Mike Bronzoulis at Bellator 142 after three straight losses in the UFC.
Friere last appeared at Bellator 157 on June 24, when he suffered a brutal first-round knockout loss to Michael Chandler in a bout for the vacant 155-pound title. Prior to that, Friere had earned consecutive triumphs over Edimilson Souza and Ryan Couture.