One of the year’s most stacked cards is just eleven days away. UFC 264 was slated to have some great matchups and huge stars, but now Sean O’Malley finds himself without an opponent. This news comes just several days after the announcement of Kevin Lee and Sean Brady’s fight being scrapped.
Louis Smolka withdrew from the bout today with an undisclosed injury. The UFC hopes to keep O’Malley on the card but now hunts for a replacement to open the pay-per-view. The promotion has taken their time with O’Malley, giving him very few quality opponents. The undefeated prospect has one of the highest ceilings at bantamweight. His striking is some of the best in the UFC.
When it comes to potential opponents, options may be limited. However, at least one fighter has stepped up to the challenge. Flyweight Tim Elliott quickly took to social media and made it known he was available for a scrap.
Elliott tweeted on Tuesday afternoon “I’ll be in Vegas that weekend! I can make 135 easy.. I feel like I’m the guy”. He was already preparing for a primary striker in Su Mudaerji. The size discrepancy will be a huge issue for Elliott if he can get the fight, but James Krause and the Glory MMA team certainly can give O’Malley some tough looks. The veteran has won two consecutive decisions, outworking Ryan Benoit and Jordan Espinosa.
This is a solid matchup as it not only gives O’Malley a comparable opponent to Smolka, but also an opponent with tons of experience. Elliott debuted in the UFC back in 2012 against John Dodson.
Ode Osbourne is another flyweight who finds himself without opponent for his July 17th bout. It would not surprise me to see him matched up with either of the two aforementioned.