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Lima signs with Bellator, is he the best prospect at welterweight?

Douglas Lima has to be a patient guy as he works his way up the MMA ladder, but he doesn't operate that way in the cage. The 23-year-old welterweight, with 16 finishes in his 18, just signed a deal to compete in Bellator's quickly developing welterweight class. He put in his time in Canada with MFC and now it's time for a slot on American TV on MTV2.

"Over the last two years, Douglas has taken his game to an entirely different level," he said in a release. "Many considered him one of the top unsigned welterweights in MMA. I'm very happy to say that he's no longer unsigned and that he will be fighting for Bellator. We continue to develop one of the strongest 170-pound divisions in the sport, and Douglas will be a fantastic addition to that."

Lima (18-4) might get a chance to avenge one his losses against Brent Weedman, but more importantly wants to make an impression with Bellator.

"I always want to win, but sometimes it's almost more important for me to put on an exciting fight," Lima said. "I want to be in a fight where I can go home and watch in the next day and be like, 'Wow! That was awesome'. I want to put on the kind of performance that makes the people like me. I'm not going to go in there and just lay on a guy or run around the cage. When I step inside the cage, I'm ready to go to war. I'm not in there to play around."

Bellator's done a solid job of building it's 135 and 145 pounds divisions, but 170 is its best. The champ is uber-prospect Ben Askren. Jay Hieron just earned a shot against Askren by taking out Rick Hawn. Lyman Good and Dan Hornbuckle are also very solid fighters as well.

If Lima can storm through this division, he ranks right up there with the best prospects in the divisions. It's a deep weight class. The USA Today/Bloody Elbow rankings have Mike Pierce at No. 25 in the world. That's pretty solid.{ysp:live-poll poll_id="61146"/}

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