BREAKING: UFC 264 Suffers Another Blow as Sean O’Malley’s Opponent Withdraws

Published 06/29/2021, 3:15 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – NOVEMBER 30: Sean O’Malley poses on the scale during the TUF Finale weigh-in inside Park Theater on November 30, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Sean O’Malley was set to fight Louis Smolka at UFC 264. However, Solka has reportedly withdrawn from the card due to an undisclosed injury.

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The promotion is now on the hunt for a new opponent for ‘Sugar’ as they want O’Malley to still stay on the card. The UFC 264 pay-per-view will be headlined by Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

It’s a great opportunity for any fighter to be present on a McGregor card. This gives the perfect opportunity to them to make a name for themselves, especially to an up-and-comer like O’Malley.

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O’Malley earned a sensational knockout finish over Thomas Almeida in his last fight to return to winning ways. He suffered his first loss as a professional against Marlon Vera prior to that. An injury suffered mid-fight played a big role in his loss.

However, O’Malley looked as good as ever in his fight against Almeida. A signature knockout put the stamp on his spectacular performance. It was a statement from ‘Suga’, to say the least.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 14: Sean O’Malley poses on the scale during the UFC 252 weigh-in at UFC APEX on August 14, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Smolka, on the other hand, was coming off a knockout win against Jose Alberto Quinonez in his previous fight. It was a big opportunity for the 29-year-old as well. However, bad luck has ruined it for him.

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Who can replace Louis Smolka to fight Sean O’Malley?

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Bantamweight is one of the most stacked divisions in the entire UFC roster at the moment. One might assume that the likes of Casey Kenney will be licking their lips to take the opportunity and step up on short notice. Former champion Cody Garbrandt is an option as well. However, ‘No Love’ fought not so long ago.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 14: (L-R) Opponents Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera of Ecuador face off during the UFC 252 weigh-in at UFC APEX on August 14, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

O’Malley will primarily look to get a ranked opponent. This will give him the chance to enter the Top-15 of the division. However, he might just take on anybody and utilize the opportunity to stay on the McGregor card.

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Apratim Banerjee

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Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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