The UFC is coming to Revel this summer.
The country's most popular mixed martial arts organization officially announced Monday that it will be ending its seven-year hiatus from Atlantic City on Friday, June 22 when it stages a card at Revel's 5,500-seat entertainment arena.
Top lightweight contenders Gray Maynard and Clay Guida will square off in a five-round fight as the main event of a card that will be televised on FX as part of the UFC's FUEL TV series.
"I've never been to Atlantic City," Maynard said in a phone interview from Las Vegas. "I'm looking foward to it."
Maynard-Guida will be the seventh UFC show in Atlantic City in a 12-year span, but the outfit has not staged a card on the boardwalk since UFC 53 was held at Boardwalk Hall on June 4, 2005.
The June 22 show is part of a busy schedule of MMA events in Atlantic City. Caesars Entertainment is bringing Bellator Fighting Championships to Boardwalk Hall's Adrian Phillips Ballroom on April 13. One night later, Vineland-based Cage Fury Fighting Championships will be in action at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Ring of Combat will be returning to Tropicana Casino and Resort on April 27.
Maynard-Guida is considered the biggest fight to come to the area in several years, however. Maynard (10-1-1) is coming off back-to-back brawls against former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, a Toms River native. Their draw on Jan. 1, 2011 won "Fight of the Year" honors and is considered one of the best in UFC history. Edgar won the next meeting via fourth-round knockout last Oct. 8.
Maynard is ranked fourth in Sherdog.com's lightweight ratings behind UFC champ Benson Henderson, Edgar and Gilbert Melendez.
"Frankie and I fought twice last year and three times total," Maynard, 32, said. "Just to be able to fight somebody different for a change will be good."
Guida (29-12), who is Sherdog's No. 7 lightweight, is 4-1 in his last five fights. In his last outing on Nov. 12, 2011, he dropped a five-round decision to Henderson in a duel to see who would get a shot at Edgar's title.
After beating Guida, Henderson went on to beat Edgar via five-round decision last Jan. 26th. Prior to that fight, Edgar's only previous MMA loss was to Maynard in 2008.
"Seeing (Henderson beat Edgar) just motivated me even more," Guida said Monday in a phone interview from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he trains. "I saw my brother (Jason) fight in Atlantic City back in 2005 and now I've got the chance to fight there. Hopefully, a win will get me a title shot."
Ticket information will be announced at a later date.