Coming off of three straight losses, UFC flyweight Louis Smolka knew changes needed to be made if he was going to try to stave off possibly being released from the promotion.
When it comes to things affecting him outside of fights, Smolka has made a change to his drinking habits and seeing how it plays out during his most recent training camp.
“I’ve stopped drinking for this camp,” Smolka told MMAWeekly.com. “That’s kind of a big thing.
“A lot of news outlets are kind of reporting, but I never liked how it came off. I am sober for this camp, and I said what I said, but I don’t want it portrayed as like I’m sober forever now. I’m still going to drink, just not for the camp.”
When it comes to the technical side of things, Smolka knows he can’t allow his opponents to get him to the ground and hold him there, stifling any chances he has to mount offense and sway judges to his side.
“I worked on my takedown defense a bit,” said Smolka. “Stopping the takedown has been a major issue with my game. People like to just shoot in and score points, so I have to deal with that. Hopefully I’ll be able to stop a few.”
Smolka (11-4) will see if his changes can stop his current skid when he takes on Matheus Nicolau (12-1-1) in a 125-pound preliminary bout at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.
“I have a game plan, but I never like to give too much away,” Smolka said. “I just kind of go out there and do what I do and believe it will turn out okay.”
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For Smolka, his bout on December 30 could determine where he fights in 2018, but he’s going to try to not let it get in the way of how he approaches his fight with Nicolau and beyond.
“I want to stay in the UFC, so this is kind of a must-win, but I’m not too worried,” said Smolka. “I’m confident that no matter what, everything will turn out okay.
“I’m just going to go out there and try to perform. I just take it fight by fight and try not to worry too much.”