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Louis Smolka explains why he’s not fighting Sean O’Malley at UFC 264

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The UFC bantamweight still hopes to fight O’Malley once he is medically cleared. 

Louis Smolka has explained why he was forced to withdraw from UFC 264 this Saturday.

The UFC veteran was scheduled to fight Sean O’Malley on the opener of the main card, but would withdraw last week for what was initially reported as an undisclosed injury. Reporting from Marc Raimondi of ESPN revealed that Smolka was dealing with a staph infection, which is what led to him being deemed “medically unfit” to compete. He was then replaced by short-notice promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho.

Smolka released a statement just days later on his Instagram account about what exactly happened. He also expressed his hope in a re-booking of the fight with O’Malley at a later time.

“Being from Hawai’i, I have that jus [sic] scrap mentality so if it were solely up to me, I’d still fight,” wrote Smolka. “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,” continued Smolka. “We are optimistic that we can get a new date set for you all when I my infection clears.”

You can read the full statement from Smolka below.

Smolka re-signed with the UFC nearly three years ago and has alternated between wins and losses in his second stint with the promotion. In his most recent outing, Smolka stopped José Alberto Quiñónez by way of second-round technical knockout at UFC on ESPN: Hermansson vs. Vettori.

Smolka did not give a specific timeline regarding his return, so it is unknown when he will be able to compete again.