UFC bantamweight veteran, Louis Smolka has been forced out of his high-profile UFC 264 clash with the polarizing, Sean O’Malley at UFC 264 on July 10. — after the Hawaiian suffered an undisclosed injury in the run-up to the bout.
Per a report this evening from Ariel Helwani, 29-year-old contender, Smolka has been removed from his main card opener against Montana striker, O’Malley — after suffering an undisclosed injury. Per the report, the UFC are actively searching for a short-notice replacement for Smolka, in a bid to keep O’Malley on the pay-per-view card.
“Louis Smolka is out of next weekend’s UFC 264 fight versus Sean O’Malley, sources say,” Helwani reported. “Undisclosed injury. They (O’Malley and Smolka) were scheduled to be on the PPV main card. UFC is hoping to keep O’Malley on the card, I’m told, but no new opponent locked in yet.“
A two-stint Octagon veteran, Smolka most recently featured at UFC Vegas 16 in December against common-opposition, Jose Alberto Quinonez — handing the former UFC bantamweight contender a second round knockout loss at the UFC Apex facility.
The victory followed a prior May outing against the then-surging, Casey Kenney — where the Hawaii native suffered a first round guillotine loss.
With a 17-7 professional record, Smolka has scored notable professional triumphs against the likes of Neil Seery, Paddy Holohan, Ben Nguyen, and Su Mudaejri.
Still hoping to secure his second Octagon walk of the year and remain on the UFC 264 card — Dana White‘s Contender Series alum, O’Malley last featured in March at UFC 260 — besting Muay Thai striker, Thomas Almeida with an eventual one-punch finish in the third and final round.
The 13-1 striker featured in March for the first time since a UFC 252 co-headlining bout last August against recent UFC Vegas 29 feature, Marlon Vera — dropping his first professional loss in the form of a late opening round knockout.
UFC 264 takes place on July 10. from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada — with a lightweight rubber match between former lightweight titleholders, Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor slated to take headlining status.