By: King Eddie
At UFC Fight Night 35 in Duluth Georgia, 808 Top Team's, Louis Smolka, will make his UFC debut. His most recent victory came only a couple of months ago when he defeated Ale Cali for the PXC Flyweight Title. Smolka's next test is Alptepkin Ozkilic (9-1 MMA , 1-0 UFC), a fighter who most recently bested Darren Uyenoyama in his Octagon debut. Both Smolka and his opponent are known for thier toughness, but Smolka has successfully finished every single one of his professional fights and remains undefeated. Ozkilic however, carries 67% decisions and has been defeated by Chico Camus via Unanimous Decision.
For Smolka, his journey to the top level has been at lightening speed. Though many would think his record is the standard for most Flyweight signees of the UFC, this will be Louis' 3 fight in 4 months. At the highest levels, that is a tough task to accomplish. Through every step though, Smolka thanks his team for carrying his weight. For pushing him the extra mile. Because, and it's no secret, freaking out a little bit is his style.
"If I'm NOT freaking out, that's when you should be worried. It's just part of my process, I guess. I always get really nervous or scared before a fight. But my team pretty much gets me through it."
A product of 808 Top Team, Louis Smolka is under the tutelage of such greats and Ron Jhun, and Harriss Sarmiento. But more so than just the training, Louis explains that without Ron and Kim Jhun, he wouldn't even be anywhere near the opportunity he faces on Wednesday.
"Uncle Ron and Aunty Kim saw something in me. They basically took me in and believed in me when nobody else did. They made every move in my career the right way and that's what got me to this point. I wouldn't be anywhere without them."
With a surprisingly strong work ethic, Smolka puts in an insane amount of preparation. From his conditioning to his technique, there is never an area in which he feels he has reached the top. Always aiming for that next step, Smolka "kills himself" in the gym whenever he can. But more encouraging than his training regimen, is his iron will inside the cage.
" I will not stop until I'm dead. I cannot quit. I won't quit AT ALL. There is nothing this guy can do, short of killing me, that will end this fight in his favor. I don't care if I take a beating. That's kind of what I do. But I'm not leaving the cage alive unless my hand is raised."
Also on the fight card is Hawaii's UFC veteran, Brad Tavares. Making his 8th octagon appearance, Tavares is set to face Strikeforce standout, Lorenz Larkin. Having only dropped one bout in his UFC career, and carrying a 4 fight win streak, Tavares looks to send Larkin back to the losers column Wednesday night. Larkin most recently defeated Chris Camozzi, but previously dropped a decision loss to Francis Carmont. Though Larkin enters the cage with a reputation for winning, Tavares will aim to drop Larkin's UFC average to below .500.
Wednesday approaches quickly and here in Hawaii we have two more reasons to tune in. Whether or not we continue the Hawaii sweep in 2014, one thin is certain. . . to our warriors, we are always loyal. And to us they are the same. Represent Hawaii well gentlemen. We are all very proud of you.
The early prelims take place on UFC Fight Pass at 11am Hawaii time, and the event on Fox Sports 1 begins at 1pm.