UFC 264 has taken a hit with the withdrawal of Sean O’Malley’s opponent Louis Smolka, but the promotion is currently looking for a replacement for next Saturday’s card in Las Vegas, sources told MMA Fighting following a report from Ariel Helwani.
“Sugar” (13-1) is looking to keep the momentum going after a third-round knockout over Brazilian bantamweight Thomas Almeida in March, his first octagon appearance since the first setback of his career in August 2020 when he lost in the first round against Marlon Vera.
One of the biggest signings from Dana White’s Contender Series, O’Malley has won five of six UFC appearances with three knockouts.
It’s still unclear what kind of injury has forced Smolka off the card. “Da Last Samurai” was most recently seen inside the cage in December 2020, stopping Jose Quinonez in the second stanza to improve to 3-2 since his return to the UFC.