A bantamweight matchup between polarizing bantamweight contender, ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley and Louis ‘The Last Samurai’ Smolka has been booked for UFC 264 on July 10. — from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Slated to make his second Octagon walk of the year, Montana striker, O’Malley returned to winning ways at UFC 260 in March at the UFC Apex facility, scoring an eventual third round knockout win over Muay Thai ace, Thomas Almeida in a highlight-reel performance.

Last featuring at UFC Vegas 16 in December, Smolka returned to the winner’s enclosure himself with a second round knockout win over common opposition, Jose Alberto Quinonez. News of the pairing between O’Malley and Smolka was first reported by Fight Game Media reporter, Ryan Frederick

Dropping his first professional loss at UFC 252 last August in a co-main event slot beneath the heavyweight title trilogy between Stipe Miocic and former two-weight titleholder, Daniel Cormier, O’Malley suffered a first round knockout loss to Marlon Vera.

Undefeated in his first twelve professional fights prior to his matchup with the Ecuadorian, O’Malley suffered what appears to be foot drop midway through the opening round, after Vera landed a leg kick, limiting O’Malley’s movement. 

Circling away from Team Oyama staple, Vera before the klaxon, O’Malley fell to his back before Vera unleashed a couple of elbows from a stacked guard, forcing referee, Herb Dean to call a halt to the fight. 

Earning Performance of the Night accolades in March against Almeida, O’Malley scored a brutal third round knockout win, putting the Brazilian out cold with a sizeable ground strike from the top. The victory added to prior notable successes against the likes of former WEC bantamweight best, Eddie Wineland, Quinonez, and Terrion Ware.

For 29-year-old Hawaii native, Smolka, he makes his sixth Octagon walk as part of his second run under the promotion’s banner. 

The 17-7 professional has featured fifteen times in the UFC collectively between those two stints, notching notable career wins over the likes of Neil Seery, Paddy Holohan, Ben Nguyen, and in his promotional return back in November of 2018 at UFC Fight Night Beijing, took an eye-catching armbar success against Su Mudaerji. 

UFC 264 takes place on July 10. from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada — with a lightweight rubber match between former interim champion, Dustin Poirier and former two-weight gold holder, Conor McGregor scheduled to take main event honours

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.