The UFC is coming back to Atlantic City this summer.
Plans are being finalized for the country's most popular mixed martial arts organization to return to the Boardwalk for the first time in seven years on Friday, June 22. The card will be televised on FX as part of the UFC's FUEL TV series.
The UFC and New Jersey Athletic Control Board both confirmed Wednesday that the event will be in Atlantic City, marking its first show there since UFC 53 was held at Boardwalk Hall on June 4, 2005.
"The UFC has reserved that date to come to Atlantic City," said state Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Lembo, who helps oversee MMA with the New Jersey Athletic Control Board and its commissioner Aaron Davis.
Officials from neither the UFC nor the NJACB would confirm widespread speculation within the mixed martial arts community that the June 22 card will be held at the new $2.4 billion Revel casino that's scheduled to open May 15.
Revel, which is described on its web site as a "6.2 million square foot beachfront entertainment resort," will feature a state-of-the-art, 5,500-seat entertainment arena.
Revel spokesperson Maureen Siman declined to comment Wednesday.
The UFC said the fighters on the card will be announced at a later date. Although it's a long shot at this point, Toms River native Frankie Edgar has frequently mentioned his desire to defend his UFC lightweight championship in Atlantic City.
"That's a dream of mine," Edgar told The Press in an earlier interview. "I used to go to (the late) Arturo Gatti's fights at Boardwalk Hall all the time and the atmosphere was incredible. I think it would be cool to experience that same level of excitement."
Edgar (14-1-1), a former standout wrestler at Toms River East High School, fought three times in South Jersey - twice in Atlantic City and once in Wildwood - early in his MMA career, but has not done so since 2006.
In order to having any chance of fighting on June 22, however, the 30-year-old would have to win his bout on Feb. 25 in Tokyo against Benson Henderson (15-2) and come out of it unscathed.