UFC bantamweight Louis Smolka had to pull out of his curtain opener fight with Sean O’Malley ten days out from their pay-per-view battle and explained why.
O’Malley is part of the monumental July PPV that is UFC 264, which will be headlined by the trilogy bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier which sold out in mere seconds.
FIGHTWEEK let’s see if we can make this KO go extra viral. #UFC264 pic.twitter.com/aN6KCQbjy7
— Tim Welch (@TimwelchMT) July 5, 2021
Following news of Smolka pulling out of the fight for UFC 264 against O’Malley, it was revealed that the bantamweight had a staph infection which led to the subsequent withdrawal.
O’Malley claims that perhaps a conspiracy theory is at play after Smolka’s coaches saw O’Malley sparring one day and decided to remove their athlete from the fight. However, that is all speculation from O’Malley’s side at this point as we head into a very electric fight week.
Louis Smolka Spills On Why He Pulled Out Of The Sean O’Malley Fight
After pulling out from one of the biggest events of the year, Smolka gave further clarification on his decision or lack thereof. The UFC bantamweight took to Instagram to tell his side of the story.
“I was really excited for this fight. Being from Hawai’i, I have that jus scrap mentality so if it were solely up to me, I’d still fight. But, I have an infection so unfortunately I’ve been deemed medically unfit. It sucks, but we have to be responsible about my health and the health of my training partners and opponent. I understand that Sean is set to stay on the card so I wish him the best. I’m sure we will see each other down the line. This is a bummer, but it’s the reality of fight camps and continuous training. We are optimistic that we can get a new date set for you all when my infection clears. Thank you to my family, the @ufc, my managers, nutritionist, coaches, team, and the fans for the help and support. I appreciate you all very much. We are known for turning setbacks into comebacks, so that’s the plan.” Louis Smolka posted on Instagram.
For now, Smolka is out of the fight due to medical reasons, so it looks like until his infection clears, he will be unable to fight in the Octagon. Assuredly, this is a huge opportunity lost on Smolka who has struggled to maintain himself in the UFC and relishing his second stint in the organization currently.
The bantamweight dropped three losses in a row when the UFC cut him initially in late 2017. However, since then, he has picked up the pace with some solid wins inside the Octagon but now his career is on ice temporarily.
While the team of Smolka is optimistic they can rebook a date with O’Malley, that could become wishful thinking if O’Malley comes out victorious at UFC 264–and right now he’s by far and wide the biggest favorite on the main card.
If the “Suga show” arrives in full force, perhaps the UFC may pair him with a ranked fighter again like last time with Marlon “Chito” Vera.
Who would you like to see Louis Smolka fight next in the Octagon, should O’Malley still fight him win/lose?