The UFC will return to Atlantic City for the first time in seven years on June 22, and two former No. 1 contenders at lightweight will compete in the main event.
A verbal agreement is in place for Clay Guida to fight Gray Maynard in a five-round match. Guida (29-12 MMA, 9-6 UFC) last competed on the undercard of the first UFC on FOX event last November, losing a No. 1 contender bout to Benson Henderson that snapped a four-fight winning streak.
To paraphrase the old cliché, if Guida is an irresistible force, then Maynard is the immovable object. Maynard (10-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) is off a knockout loss to Frankie Edgar, a UFC 136 match that completed their trilogy. The Bully has since left Xtreme Couture for a move to California and made pit stops to train at the American Kickboxing Academy and Nova Unaio.
This is an intriguing bout with two different styles. Each hold wins over formidable competition and has taken the hard road down the path towards title contention. Guida has been with the UFC since 2006, but it took those four straight wins, the last an upset of Anthony Pettis, to put him position for a shot at the title. Maynard’s knockout loss to Edgar was his first in 12 MMA bouts (one draw). In addition to being just one of two fighters to solve "The Answer," Maynard holds victories over Jim Miller, Roger Huerta, Nate Diaz and Kenny Florian. Depending on what the UFC decides to do with Pettis, the victor could be in line for another No. 1 contender’s match.
The last time Atlantic City hosted a UFC event was UFC 53 on June 4, 2005 at Boardwalk Hall. The main event saw Andrei Arlovski defend the interim heavyweight championship with a first-round TKO of Justin Eilers. Forrest Griffin won his first post Ultimate Fighter bout by using a rear naked choke to submit Bill Mahood at 2:18 of Round 1. Rich Franklin became UFC middleweight champion when the doctor told a cut-up Evan Tanner he could go no longer at 3:25 of the fourth round. Two other notable bouts was Long Island’s Matt Serra losing a unanimous decision to Karo Parisyan, and a rising welterweight named Nick Diaz improving to 11-3 with a first-round TKO of Koji Oishi.
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