With another big Conor McGregor PPV on the horizon, the UFC couldn’t resist the opportunity to give one of their most popular prospects a chance to shine in the spotlight. Wrestling Observer’s Ryan Frederick was first to report the news, but MMA Fighting has since confirmed that the world’s largest MMA promotion is putting together a bout between ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley and Louis Smolka for their July 10th PPV card.
O’Malley (13-1) will enter this bout fresh off a 3rd round destruction of Thomas Almeida back at UFC 260: Miocic vs. Ngannou 2. That victory provided the 26-year-old with a firm bounce-back from the first loss of his professional career, a TKO stoppage at the hands of Marlon Vera in the co-main event of UFC 252.
For Smolka (17-7) this fight will mark his first return to action since a December 2020 victory over Jose Alberto Quinonez on the UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Vettori undercard. ‘Da Last Samurai’ is 3-2 since making his return to the Octagon in 2018, after a brief stint back on the regionals. Prior to the Quinonez win, Smolka suffered a first round submission loss to Casey Kenney back in May of last year.
UFC 264 takes place in Las Vegas, NV. The headliner is expected to feature the trilogy bout between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. A welterweight top contender’s bout pitting Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson is also set for the PPV card. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and fight booking as the event approaches.