HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Welcome back to the UFC, Louis Smolka.
The Kapolei native made his hard-earned return to the Octagon tonight in the opening fight of UFC Beijing, almost a year after he was cut from the promotion.
Fighting at bantamweight, Smolka submitted Su Mudaerji via armbar and was immediately overcome with emotion inside the cage.
Featherweight champion and fellow Hawaii native Max Holloway expressed his excitement for Smolka’s win as well.
The journey back to the Octagon has been a long one for Smolka, who struggled with drinking problems during his journey back to the fight game.
“I had to make some really big changes in my life,” Smolka said xuring his post-fight interview. “I’m sure everyone knows I had a problem with drinking. I had a problem with alcohol. I had to quit everything. I moved up to California, I’m training with Team Oyama now. I gave up everything. I brought my daughter with me. This is for her, this is for Lucy, this is for Yumi, this is for you guys.”