As a fellow Hawaiian, Smolka (11-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC) thinks the videos of Penn (16-14-2 MMA, 12-13-2 UFC) likely don’t give appropriate situational or cultural context.
“That’s just B.J. being B.J., bro,” Smolka told MMA Junkie. “That’s just kind of how it is out in Hawaii. It’s pretty ruthless. I’ve been out in those situations, too. If you’re out late at night and you’re looking for trouble, it will find you very quickly.
“There are certain guys who will go out drinking and they’re looking to fight, or they’re looking for girls or looking for drugs. If you’re out late at night looking for trouble, it will find you very quickly.”
According to Smolka, trouble can be found anywhere in Hawaiian night life. Just being labeled as the toughest guy in the room can attract unwanted attention from neighborhood ruffians.
Smolka said he has a strong suspicion the videos are likely a result of an injured ego on the part of the UFC Hall of Famer’s street fight foe.
“If I had to guess, it was probably something along the lines of B.J. going out and buying people drinks,” Smolka said. “Some dude that’s the local badass or the local big shot is now being overshadowed by B.J. because B.J. is bigger than him.
“He took offense to it, probably, and started getting upset. Then it just spiraled. That would be my guess, honestly.”
Saturday night, Smolka has a fight of his own – only inside the cage. “Da Last Samurai” will take on Ryan MacDonald (10-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on the UFC on ESPN+ 16 prelims at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The card streams on ESPN+.
“He’s big for the weight class,” Smolka said of MacDonald. “I’m just going to try to outpace him and outwork him. We’re out here in Big Bear (California), so I’m trying to just put the pressure on him. Hopefully, this high altitude training will pay off and be an advantage in the cardio.”
“… I’m trying to finish him, man. (I’m) trying to go out there and break him, put the pace on him, and hopefully see him wilt.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Louis Smolka not rushing to judge idol B.J. Penn: 'That's just kind of how it is out in Hawaii'