Sean O’Malley returns to the Octagon at UFC 264 against Louis Smolka

By Adam D Martin - May 3, 2021

UFC bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley will return to the Octagon on July 10 at UFC 264 when he faces off against Louis Smolka.

Sean O'Malley, Ben Askren

MMA journalist Ryan Frederick was the first to report the O’Malley vs. Smolka fight, which will take place on the Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor III undercard at UFC 264. Multiple sources have indicated to that this booking is accurate and will take place.

This fight may be a disappointment for fans who were expecting O’Malley to land a top-15 ranked opponent after absolutely destroying Thomas Almeida in his last outing. But instead of throwing him back in there with a ranked fighter, the UFC matchmakers instead chose to give O’Malley an unranked fighter in the form of Smolka, who is a longtime UFC veteran. But while Smolka is very tough and a talented fighter in his own right, you can guess already that fans are going to criticize the matchmaking for O’Malley in this one.

O’Malley (13-1) has been in the UFC since 2017 and he is 5-1 overall in the promotion with wins over Almeida, Eddie Wineland, Jose Quinonez, Andre Soukhamthath, and Terrion Ware, with his lone loss coming against Marlon Vera. After knocking out Almeida, O’Malley was out there calling out top-10 ranked fighters such as Dominick Cruz. But the UFC chose to go another direction and instead matched him up against the veteran Smolka.

Smolka (17-7) returned to the UFC in 2018 and has since gone 3-2 in his second stint in the Octagon, with wins over Quinonez, Ryan MacDonald, and Sumadaerji, and losses to Casey Kenney and Matt Schnell. Smolka also previously competed in the UFC between 2014 and 2017 and put up a 5-5 record in the Octagon during that stretch. He will look to stay above .500 overall when he takes on O’Malley this summer.

Who do you think wins this bantamweight bout between Sean O’Malley and Louis Smolka?


Louis Smolka Sean O'Malley UFC