Another new professional mixed martial arts organization is coming to Atlantic City this summer.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will be staging its first MMA event on July 20 when the new MMA Pro League debuts. One month later, the Professional Fight League, formerly the World Series of Fighting, will hold two cards at Ocean Resort Casino on Aug. 16 and 30, respectively.

The MMA Pro League will be staging five events at Hard Rock this year with competitions featuring teams from different regions of the country.

The league was developed by veteran MMA promoter Hani Darwish and former HBO executive Mark Taffet.

“After delivering 190 of the world’s greatest fights to fans of (HBO Pay Per View) for 25 years, I am thrilled to begin a new chapter in MMA history with the launch of MMA Pro League,” Taffet said Tuesday in a statement. “Launching our first series of live fight events at the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City will create an atmosphere of excitement second to none. Our head coaches will fill their teams with great young talent who fans will connect with immediately.”

The first card will pit New Jersey against Pennsylvania.

Former UFC fighter Dan Miller, brother of UFC fighter Jim Miller, will be New Jersey’s coach. Pennsylvania will be coached by Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion and former Bellator fighter Daniel Gracie.

“We are very excited to be chosen as the host venue for the inaugural events of the MMA Pro League,” Hard Rock Vice President of Entertainment Bernie Dillon said in a statement. “Working alongside two highly respected industry veterans like Mark and Hani convinced us to jump at the chance to be involved.”

The MMA Pro League is among two combative sports events scheduled to be held at Hard Rock this summer. On Aug. 4, World Boxing Association light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev will defending his title against Eleider Alvarez.

Tickets for the July 20 event go on sale 10 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster. Hard Rock and Ocean Resort are scheduled to open June 28.

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Contact: 609-272-7201 Twitter @PressACWeinberg


Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 25th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

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