UFC 264 is set to take place in under two weeks on Saturday, July 10th.
The card is headlined by the Lightweight trilogy match of Conor Mcgregor and Dustin Poirier.
But this topic of discussion is not on that fight, it's on what was supposed to be the kickoff fight for the main card which would have been the Bantamweight scrap between Louis Smolka who is 17-7 taking on fan-favorite Sugar Sean O'Malley.
It was reported yesterday June 29th that Louis Smolka had pulled out of the fight due to a staph infection according to his manager.
Smolka hasn't fought since December last year where he defeated Jose Alberto Quinonez was looking to get back in the cage with the much bigger name fighter in O’Malley in hopes to pick up what would have been the biggest win of his 11 year MMA career.
O’Malley on the other hand had his last outing in a spectacular performance against the Brazilian brawler Thomas Almeida where O'Malley completely battered Almeida all fight until the stoppage in round 3. The fight before that one was where we saw O’Malley suffer his first professional defeat at the hands of Marlon ”Chito” Vera.
Although O’Malley has a different outlook on that.
With this fight with Smolka scratched off, the UFC is still hoping to keep the fan-favorite O’Malley on the card and is looking for a late replacement to step in.
And so far there have been a handful of fighters who have offered to throw their name in the hat.
Here is a list of fighters who did
1. Merab Dvalishvili (13-4)
2. Cody Stamann (19-4-1)
3. Brian Kelleher (22-12)
4. Ray Borg (14-5)
5. Ricky Simone (18-3)
And 2 random fighters who even stepped up were UFC Featherweight Giga Chikadze, who I doubt would be able to make 135 in general let alone in less than 2 weeks.
Even LFA Bantamweight champion Zviad Lazishvili said he’d step in.
Regardless though with the number of fighters ready to go im pretty sure the UFC will find an opponent for Sean, But out of the list of 5 I just gave, id LOVE to see Sean take on Merab Dvalishvili.
If you haven't seen Merab fight, the dude is a complete unit.
Cardio for days, super fast hands and kicks, never stationary and can take any opponent down.
You can not use the word boring when you mention this guy's name.
Out of that list of 5, I believe Merab would be the one to give O’Malley the most trouble.
Although we have seen Merab just slug it out in the majority of his fights and Sean being a very good counter puncher would welcome that.
But at the same time, I doubt the UFC makes that fight mainly BECAUSE of the number of problems he can cause for Sean and the UFC doesn't want to ruin his momentum.
As ridiculous as it might be, The UFC might just give Brian Kelleher or Ray Borg the fight with the hopes that Sean can show out and show off for the live audience and watchers at home. No disrespect towards Kelleher or Borg but those 2 fights would be the perfect matchups for someone like Sean.
Whether we like it or not the fight game is a business and the UFC will do what they have to in order to fill this card out, especially with fan favorites.
Im sure the card will do great numbers regardless, with it being headlined by Mcgregor but they would love to keep someone like Sean on the card
Let me know in the comments who you guys would like to see jump into the cage with Sean on short notice and if you think we will get to see the "Suga Show" on July 10th
Hope you guys enjoyed the read!