Coming off a stretch where he had lost four straight fights over the course of two years, former UFC flyweight Louis Smolka returned to the win column on April 21 at Gladiator Challenge.
For Smolka, the win helped quell some doubt he had about his career, though it wasn’t quite the victory he was looking for.
“It’s been a while since I got a win; it’s been a couple years now,” Smolka told MMAWeekly.com. “I had some doubts. It starts to get a little hopeless after a while and you wonder why you can’t win anymore. You especially wonder if you’ve lost it.
“I feel like for what it was, I did what I was supposed to do. I thought I was fighting Ralph Acosta, but he pulled out at the last minute, and they ended up getting some guy to take the fight. I got my win, and I’m happy I got it.”
During his losing streak, Smolka admittedly thought his career might be done, but his support system rallied around him and helped drive him forward to keep fighting.
“There were times where it wasn’t working,” said Smolka. “Coming home to my daughter, coming home to my fiancé, all beat up and scars all over my face, I felt it wasn’t working.
“But the people around me, my team, they kept me going. They forced me to re-evaluate myself, and I feel better than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m working really hard on getting better as a fighter.”
Back on the winning track, Smolka would like to return to the UFC, and feels his win at Gladiator Challenge was a first step in making that move a reality.
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“(UFC matchmakers) Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard told me that I need to win a few fights before they bring me back,” Smolka said. “That was one of the wins, so I’m happy I did what I was supposed to do (to work my way back to the UFC).
“I think we’re going to try to reset the Ralph Acosta fight. But the UFC might call for a late notice, so I’ve got to stay ready just in case they call me.”