Sean O’Malley has been swiftly given a new opponent after Louis Smolka was forced out of their UFC 264 main card opening fight next weekend in Las Vegas.
There was a string of well known bantamweights queuing up to step in on short notice to fight O’Malley, including the likes of Merab Dvalishvili, Tim Elliott and Ricky Simon, and it’s rumored that the promotion were warming up to the idea of accepting Simon’s offer until learning that he couldn’t make weight in time.
So, in the end the UFC have opted to draft in a newcomer to the UFC instead – Kris Moutinho.
The 28 year-old Moutinho holds a 9-4 career record and is coming off a third round submission win in the Cage Fury promotion just over a month ago. That was Moutinho’s second win in a row, but prior to that he’d suffered back-to-back losses via KO and TKO.
As for O’Malley, the 26-year-old holds a 13-1 record, including a 5-1 run in the UFC so far, and is coming off a knockout win against Thomas Almeida back in March.
O’Malley vs Moutinho fits into a UFC 264 event that will be headlined by Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor’s trilogy fight, while Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson serves as the co-main event.