Louis Smolka says Dublin main event is “just another fight”

Josh Hedges|Zuffa LLC|Zuffa LLC

Josh Hedges|Zuffa LLC|Zuffa LLC

Louis Smolka was coming into his upcoming bout at UFC Fight Night 76 expecting to kick off the four-fight main card, but due to multiple injuries, "Da Last Samurai" has his first main event booked. The co-main event between Stipe Miocic and Ben Rothwell, two heavyweight contenders eager to get a shot at UFC gold, was cancelled when Miocic was forced out of the contest last week due to injury. Earlier today, the planned headliner, Dustin Poirier vs. Joseph Duffy, was scrapped because the Irish prospect suffered a concussion earlier this week. No replacements were found, so now Smolka will headline the card on Saturday night against Irish fighter Paddy Holohan. Smolka, other than when he first heard about it, hasn't put much thought about being the headliner -- it's just another day at the office for the Hawaiian. "Life does not suck right now. It hasn't really been distraction, I was on the main card already, so it's not really an issue," Smolka told MMAjr.co on Wednesday evening. "I was ecstatic for 20 minutes, but now I've got my barrings back, I've got my rhythm back. It's just another fight, but it's been a pretty good day." Charles Kipilii Jr., a head coach of Hawaii Elite MMA, added his thoughts on Smolka's first main event appearance, as well. "I'm just happy for him, it's a great opportunity for him," he stated. "I'm really excited, I can't wait." Smolka hasn't faced the challenge of fighting someone taller than him, if ever, but he will on Saturday night. Smolka is approximately one-inch shorter than "The Hooligan," as they're both very tall for the 125-pound division. Stylistically, the 24-year old thinks this will be a bout fans should definitely tune in for. "It's an interesting fight, he's one of the few guys in the division that's taller than me. I think he might be the only guy. He's got rangy striking, he's a lanky jiu-jitsu guy, so it's going to be interesting, because we have similar styles. So it's going to be interesting to see what happens, how things are approached." Kipilii also mentioned he believes Smolka's striking and jiu-jitsu are both "a little cleaner, a little better," and that those two things will be the deciding factors when they square off. Smolka is used to stepping into enemy territory. In 2014, he stopped an Australian, Richie Vaculik, in Australia. This past summer, he fought Irishman Neil Seery at UFC 189 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout was in the United States of America, but half the arena was filled with Irish people that flew overseas to see Conor McGregor become the interim featherweight champion in the main event. He'll face another Irish fighter and this time actually in Ireland. But to Smolka, similar to the main event situation, it's just another fight. "It's another fight. I'm used to going into enemy territory, we don't have a hometown favourite, training out of Hawaii. I'm not going to get a hometown advantage, so it's not really a big deal to me. It's just another fight, I'm excited to have it." How does "Da Last Samurai" see his fight playing out on Saturday night? "Breaking Paddy Holohan, winning, finishing."

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