LOUIS SMOLKA VS. CASEY KENNEY
Ironically, the last man to beat Royval will be part of the tandem setting the table for his debut, as Casey Kenney looks to get back in the win column in a bantamweight clash with Hawaiian Louis Smolka on Saturday.
Kenney appeared twice on Season 1 of the Contender Series, grinding out a win over CJ Hamilton before dropping a split decision to Adam Antolin. He rattled off four straight victories under the LFA banner following that setback, including his victory over Royval, claiming gold at both flyweight and bantamweight along the way.
That run of success earned him a short-notice call-up to the UFC, where he toppled Ray Borg before handing Manny Bermudez the first loss of his career five months later. Casey’s winning ways came to an end last time out, however, as he dropped a decision to Merab Dvalishvili in February.
Once viewed as a potential contender in the flyweight division, a four-fight losing streak cost Smolka his place on the roster. Three wins in six months outside of the promotion after getting his life in order earned the Hawaiian a return to the Octagon, where he’s gone 2-1 with a pair of submission victories since, including a first-round finish of Ryan McDonald in September.
Both men are looking to improve their standing in the ultra-competitive bantamweight ranks, so expect a fast-paced, scramble-heavy affair once things get rolling in this one.