With just three weeks to go before Bellator’s next event, the promotion officially announced its co-headliner for their return to San Jose, California. Lightweight veterans Josh Thomson and Patricky Freire will battle at Bellator 172 on Saturday, February 18th at the SAP Center. The fight was announced during Friday night’s Bellator 171 broadcast.
San Jose’s Thomson (22-8, 1 NC) is making his first appearance in the Bellator cage since December 2015. The UFC and Strikeforce veteran was scheduled to face Michael Chandler last May, but had to withdraw due to injury. Thomson did not re-sign with the UFC after losing to Tony Ferguson, and opted to sign with Bellator MMA in free agency. To date, he’s beaten Mike Bronzoulis and Pablo Villaseca, neither of whom is in the upper echelon of Bellator lightweights.
Freire (16-8) fought Chandler for the vacant Bellator lightweight belt in June, but lost by knockout. His previous two fights in 2016 were both wins, as he brutally crushed Ryan Couture in January, then beat Kevin Souza by unanimous decision in Bellator’s first ever trip to Italy. Patricky was scheduled to fight Derek Campos in last month’s Bellator 167 main event, but pulled out after suffering an injury.
Bellator 172 is headlined by a heavyweight bout between the legendary Fedor Emelianenko and the heavy-handed Matt Mitrione. The night’s main card airs live on Spike TV at 9 PM ET/8 PM CT.