Polarizing UFC bantamweight contender, Sean O’Malley is set for his second Octagon appearance of the year, returning to the T-Mobile Arena on July 10th. at UFC 264 against fifteen-fight organizational veteran, Louis Smolka.
Rebounding from a debated knockout loss to Marlon Vera at UFC 262 last August, the Dana White’s Contender Series alum, O’Malley bested Brazilian kicker, Thomas Almeida at UFC 260 in March with a third round ground strike knockout.
For Hawaiian veteran, Smolka, he returned at UFC Vegas 16 in December, besting common-foe as O’Malley, Jose Alberto Quinonez in a second round knockout win. News of the matchup between O’Malley and Smolka was first reported by reporter, Ryan Frederick.
Montana striker, O’Malley dropped his first professional loss in the co-headliner of UFC 252, after succumbing to ground strikes against Colin Oyama product, Marlon Vera.
Landing a leg kick midway through the opening round, Vera produced a notable stumble from O’Malley who later claimed that he had been struck on his peroneal nerve, resulting in foot drop. Falling to his back in the final minute of the opening round, O’Malley was met by a couple of elbow strikes from Vera, resulting in his first professional loss.
Featuring at UFC 250 in June, the 26-year-old earned Performance of the Night bonuses for the third fight running, stopping former WEC bantamweight champion, Eddie Wineland with a massive one-punch knockout in the opening round of their UFC Apex facility event.
The victory followed prior UFC wins over the above-mentioned, Quinonez, as well as Andre Soukhamthath, and Terrion Ware.
Smolka, 29, is five-fights deep into his second run under the UFC’s banner, following a brief, one-fight appearance at CFX 15 where he scored the vacant flyweight title with a second round doctor’s stoppage win over Kyle Estrada.
17-6 as a professional with eight knockout wins and a further seven submissions, Smolka has bested the likes of Neil Seery, Paddy Holohan, Ben Nguyen, and in his Octagon return in November of 2018, scored an armbar win over Su Mudaerji.
UFC 264 is headlined by a lightweight trilogy rubber match between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, with fans in attendance at the T-Mobile Arena for the first time since UFC 248 back in March of last year.