Louis Smolka entering tech world as fighting future in doubt after UFC release: “I went back to school”

By Cole Shelton - January 8, 2024

Louis Smolka has done a complete 180 with his career.

Louis Smolka

After Smolka suffered a KO loss to Davey Grant at UFC Vegas 54 in May of 2022, which was his second straight loss, he was released from the UFC. With Smolka having been cut from the promotion for the second time, the Hawaiian wasn’t sure what his future held, so he decided to go back to school with an eye toward a tech job.

“I went back to school, I didn’t see a path towards giving my family the life I felt they deserved through fighting. I still love it, I still train, and I still try to evolve as a martial artist,” former UFC bantamweight Louis Smolka said to BJPENN.com. “But, I’m trying to go corporate, I went back to school to get an education and enter the tech world. It’s been tough because right when I got certified there was a hiring freeze, Amazon and all the big companies had a hiring freeze as they thought there would be a recession. I heard it is going to thaw, so probably a month or two.”

Although working in tech and with computers may seem like a complete flip of a career, Louis Smolka says this was something he has always been passionate about.

For as long as Smolka can remember, he’s always been fascinated by computers and dreamed of working in tech. But, as his fighting career took off, he put the tech world in the back seat but now is ready to pursue his other dream.

“I always liked computers, I’ve always been fascinated by them. I was a smart kid growing up and I remember since I was a kid wondering how computers worked… I’ve had some talks with some high-up people and some really big and well-known companies. They told me they had the hiring freeze and it was tied to stocks for the end of the quarter. But, they have shown interest and hopefully will have a job soon,” Smolka said.

With Louis Smolka focusing on the tech job, he isn’t sure what his fighting future holds. The Hawaiian says to fight again, he would want to do his entire camp back at home, which he’s unsure will be possible.

“I’m trying to figure out a way to take care of my daughter first, set herself up for the future, get her a college fund, and take care of her in a way that I feel she deserves, and the way my parents took care of me,” Smolka said. “I’m trying to do that. I do still want to fight. But, if I do fight, I want to come back home and train in Hawaii and do my camps in Hawaii. That would be ideal, but we will see how far I take my career and if I get any freedom. If I do come back, it will require me to be in Hawaii.”

Along with wanting to do his entire camp in Hawaii, Smolka says he doesn’t care about fighting in regional shows for not much money. Instead, he says for him to fight again, it needs to be for a big promotion, or a big fight, which he’s unsure will happen.

“I would rather fight big shows, I want meaningful fights. Doing low-tier journeymen stuff isn’t something I want to do. Sorry, I don’t mean to offend people, but I don’t want to bust my ass for eight weeks to fight for five grand if that. I’m not doing that,” Smolka added.

If Louis Smolka doesn’t fight again, he is fine with it as it just means his tech job has taken off, and he will be putting his fighting career behind him.


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