Even though he is a veteran of seven years as a professional MMA fighter with over 20 fights to his credit, anxiety can be just as much on an issue for bantamweight Louis Smolka as any up and comer.
Recently before his win over Ryan MacDonald at UFC on ESPN+ 16 on Sept. 14, Smolka was admittedly nervous before he was able to calm down and have a good enough performance to pick up his second win in three fights for the promotion since his return late last year.
“It was great, but I woke up the morning (of the fight) freaking the hell out,” Smolka told MMAWeekly.com. “My heart was beating through my chest. I was so nervous. I was going through all kinds of stuff; the build-up the, anticipation, all the anxiety; but I took some CBD stuff and instantly my heart rate down.
“That really helped get me through it. I was able to stay relatively calm and chamber my energy and to be ready to unleash it at the right time and it just worked out.”
When it comes to his performance against MacDonald itself, Smolka feels like he was able to do what he had planned to do prior to the bout making for a convincing unanimous decision win.
“I ran into a couple of jabs, but I was able to not get hit too much,” said Smolka. “I was able to execute most of the game plan pretty well.
“A big part of the game plan was going to the body, and I was able to hit (MacDonald) a lot of times. He’s a taller guy, so we knew it would be kind of hard getting to his head – especially since he had the reach advantage – but we were able to go to the body pretty well. That was a big part of the game plan. I’m super happy that I was able to pull that off.”
As for what could be next for Smolka, while he’d like to fight at least once more before the end of 2019, he’s not too caught up in what’s next as his world had centered on taking care of business versus MacDonald.
“I was solely focused on beating Ryan MacDonald, and that was all I was thinking about, so I hadn’t really planned for a next move, but if they could find me a spot on the upcoming cards I would be stoked,” said Smolka. “I’ve talked to my management and we’re going to figure it out.
“I’m not too sure how this is going to go. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself, just stay one fight at a time and not rush anything and see how it goes. Get as many wins as I can and rack up some momentum.”