Countering a four-fight losing streak over the course of the two years prior, 2018 has been a big comeback year for former UFC flyweight Louis Smolka.
Having pocketed two wins already this year, Smolka added his third victory of 2018 by defeating Kyle Estrada for the vacant California Xtreme Fighting 125-pound title on Oct. 20.
“It was a tough win, a tough fight, tough opponent (in Estrada),” Smolka told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m just happy that I was able to get the win.”
For Smolka, getting back on the winning track was a combination of a new training camp and a change in his personal life.
“I’m training with Team Oyama and it’s been a good change for me, a really good change,” said Smolka. “The attitude out here is great and everybody works hard. It’s a lot of like-minded people with similar goals as me.
“I’ve been sober for almost a year now, so that’s pretty good. I’ve noticed a big change in that; the way I move, the way I’ve been training, the way I’m able to recover, and I feel a lot lighter. The way everything has been coming together has been working really well for me.”
When it comes to working with Colin Oyama, Smolka feels it has been the small alterations that have made the biggest difference in his training.
“(Oyama is) showing me a couple of new things, and tightening up my game and using the tools I already have, and making things happen where I want to happen,” Smolka said. “It’s a bunch of little things that he’s shown me that’s brought me a long way.”
With three wins in a row, Smolka is looking to get an opportunity on a larger stage, and if he can, either book another fight before the end of the year or step in last minute if need be.
“Of course we’ll talk to everybody, the various promotions, and find what works best for us,” said Smolka. “I’d like to fight again before the end of the year, and if not that, than early next year.
“It’s always nice to have a fight lined up and also end up fighting, but of course you’ve got to try to be ready (if a short notice fight comes up).”