Bellator Fighting Championships announced today that they signed lightweight up-and-comer Mike Ricci. The organization said he will most likely debut this spring.

The undefeated 23-year-old youngster fights next to current UFC welterweight champ, Georges St. Pierre, under coach Firas Zahabi at the TriStar gym in Montreal, Canada.

Ricci was recently quoted saying;

“What’s made me improve so much in a short period of time is helping guys like Cote and GSP in their training camps. It’s also helped my confidence. When you set a goal of being a world champion, it may seem far-fetched—but not when you train alongside guys who’ve already achieved that. I really pride myself on my defense. I think I’ve only been hit like twice in my whole career. I think that really separates me from my competition. I’ve gotten to the point in my career where my coach thinks I’m ready and I think I’m ready to take the next step. I’m just very grateful for the opportunity.”

Ricci is also the first fighter announced to be participating in the upcoming Season 2 Bellator Fighting Championships, which begins April 8th 2010.