Louis Smolka is out of what had been a promising bantamweight scrap with Sean O’Malley at UFC 264 later this month.
The fight looked like it had plenty of bonus potential, but ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was first to break the news Tuesday that Smolka was out of the bout. An undisclosed injury is reportedly the culprit. The UFC, meanwhile, is hoping to find a new opponent for “The Sugar Show” fighter.
O’Malley’s response, meanwhile, was short and to the point. “Not surprised.”
— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) June 29, 2021
O’Malley (13-1) got back on track earlier this year by knocking out Thomas Almeida at UFC 260. That saw him bounce back from a loss to Marlon Vera, and earn a Performance on the Night bonus as well. Overall, O’Malley is 5-1 after joining the organization following a highly rated appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series.
Smolka (17-7) is 2-2 in his last four, and is currently on his second run with the promotion. The former flyweight is coming off a win over José Alberto Quiñónez.
While there’s no word on O’Malley’s replacement opponent, a number of fighters including Tim Elliott have stepped up to throw their names in the hat.
The UFC 264 card currently breaks down as follows:
Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor
Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson
Tai Tuivasa vs. Greg Hardy
Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya
Sean O’Malley vs. TBD
Carlos Condit vs. Max Griffin
Niko Price vs. Michel Pereira
Dricus du Plessis vs. Trevin Giles
Ryan Hall vs. Ilia Topuria
Jessica Eye vs. Jennifer Maia
Omari Akhmedov vs. Brad Tavares
Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs. Jerome Rivera
Alen Amedovski vs. Hu Yaozong