Josh Thomson (21-8, 1 no-contest) returns to the cage Dec. 4 at Bellator 147 in San Jose, Calif.
The former Strikeforce lightweight champion and UFC veteran will face Pablo Villaseca in the evening's headlining bout, according to a press release from Bellator MMA on Thursday.
Thomson last fought at Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1 in September, earning a third-round arm-triangle submission victory over Mike Bronzoulis. Prior to that, "The Punk" dropped three straight decisions inside the UFC Octagon, losing to Benson Henderson, Bobby Green and Tony Ferguson consecutively.
While nothing is set just yet, a win over Villaseca could earn Thomson a shot at the Bellator lightweight title.
"Josh was a great champion at Strikeforce and still has a ton left in the gas tank," said Bellator MMA President Scott Coker. "Should he win this fight (at Bellator 147), there is no guarantee that he will fight for the lightweight title, but it will be taken into consideration."
Villaseca, meanwhile, boasts an impressive 10-1 record. His lone loss - a split-decision defeat to Bobby Cooper at Bellator 139 - marks his only previous experience under the Bellator banner.
Also confirmed for the Bellator 147 fight card is a high-profile featherweight co-main event between Georgi Karakhanyan and Daniel Weichel.
Karakhanyan strolls into the bout on the heels of an impressive submission win over Bubba Jenkins at Bellator 132, while Weichel is coming off a knockout loss to Bellator featherweight champ Patricio "Pitbull" Freire at Bellator 138.