Louis Smolka has pulled out of a proposed bantamweight clash with Sean O'Malley at UFC 264 due to a staph infection.
Smolka’s exit was initially reported by Ariel Helwani, and the fighter’s management confirmed with ESPN the reason for his withdrawal from the bout.
The promotion is currently seeking a replacement opponent for O’Malley, according to multiple reports.
UFC 264 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 10 and is headlined by a trilogy fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. O’Malley vs. Smolka was slated to kick off the pay-per-view portion of the event, which airs at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT via ESPN+.
Smolka has been victorious in three of five Octagon appearances during his second UFC stint. Most recently, “Da Last Samurai” stopped Jose Alberto Quinonez in the second round of their bout at UFC on ESPN 19 on Dec. 5. The 29-year-old Hawaiian went 5-5 during his first go-round with the UFC, exiting the promotion on the heels of a four-bout skid at the end of 2017.
After suffering his first career defeat against Marlon Vera at UFC 252, O’Malley returned to the win column at UFC 260, where he defeated Thomas Almeida via third-round knockout on March 27. The Dana White’s Contender Series alum is 13-1 as a professional, with 10 victories coming inside the distance.