Fueled by Fear, Smolka says ‘I’m not safe yet’ ahead of UFC on ESPN+ 4

Local Sports

Kapolei native Louis Smolka makes his return to the octagon this weekend as the bantamweight will take part in the UFC on ESPN+ 4 in Wichita, Kansas.

Smolka (15-5), will face off with Matt Schnell (11-4) this Saturday looking to extend his winning streak to five matches.

On Tuesday he spoke with KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello while getting his haircut ahead of media obligations on Wednesday and fight night over the weekend, serving as a usual fight week appointment, providing a chance to relax and ready himself for fight night.

“Yeah it’s like a ritual type thing. Like a tradition I guess when I see myself a haircut I start to feel good. Look good feel good feel good fight good,” said Smolka.

Da Last Samurai, succesfully made his return to the UFC in November with a second round submission win over Su Mudaerji in Beijing.

Although many are looking at this week’s matchup as a chance for Smolka to take a step towards contender status, Smolka is still fueled by the fear of losing his spot within the organization.

“That’s always part of it you know. That’s always the goal is to be champion. To be one of the top guys in the weight class. But honestly this fight for me I still feel myself as earning my way back. I’m not safe yet. When it comes to fighting I think Rickson Gracie said if you’re not scared you’re stupid when it comes to fighting.”.

Smolka was released from the UFC in 2017 after suffering a four fight losing streak. Before that he was a rising contender in the flyweight division having an 11-1 record having gone 5-1 in the UFC. 

Since his release he has gone 4-0 with three of those fights coming outside of the UFC. He relocated to California ahead of his return fight in the UFC and remains in the Golden State with his fiancee and daughter.

Smolka and Schnell will fight on Saturday as part of the preliminary card which begins at 12:00 pm HST on ESPN +.
 

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