Sean O’Malley needs a new opponent for UFC 264 in a little over a week’s time after Louis Smolka was forced out of the bout due to suffering from a staph infection.
The fight had been set to open up the main card of UFC 264 on pay-per-view, with Smolka coming off a TKO victory against Jose Alberto Quinonez, while O’Malley had KO’d Thomas Almeida.
Despite not being ranked at bantamweight, O’Malley is a big name in the division and as such there’s been a queue of notable names at 135lbs that have all thrown their hat into the ring as potential replacements for Smolka, despite the short notice.
“I’ll take that, my opponent was injured,” Tim Elliott wrote upon reading news of Smolka’s withdrawal.
“Less than 2 weeks? I accept,” Ricky Simon wrote.
“If @SugaSeanMMA needs an opponent I am ready and I will still fight Marlon in September!” the 10th ranked Merab Dvalishvili stated.
Even former UFC fighter Ray Borg attempted to get in on the action, saying, “Closed mouths don’t get fed right? Put me back in coach I’m ready to go.”
So, with so many potential options available it seems there’s currently a good chance that O’Malley will remain on the card, which will be headlined by a blockbuster trilogy fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor on July 10th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.