By CARLO ANOLIN
After moving up to the No. 3 of ONE bantamweight rankings, Stephen Loman is expecting more challenges ahead of his mixed martial arts career.
And the Team Lakay stalwart isn’t looking too far as No. 2 South Korean fighter Kwon Won Il is just within his radar.
“I think Kwon Won will be a good match for me,” said Loman. “Expect from me that I will give my everything to stay on the ladder and climb my way up to fight for the title at the soonest.”
Loman’s ascension put him a step closer to his dreams of earning a crack at the belt. But it will still boil down between reigning champion Bibiano Fernandes and fellow Brazilian John Lineker, the top contender, in ONE: Bad Blood.
The former BRAVE Combat Federation champion made a successful transition in ONE Championship as he knocked out then No. 3 contender Yusup Saadulaev in ONE: Winter Warriors II last month.
“It was my debut fight and it is a great feeling to be at the top five after defeating a ranked opponent. I was positive that I will be climbing up the rankings, but surprisingly, they put me in the third spot. I’m so thankful,” added Loman.
Kwon, for his part, is riding on a three-match win streak since November 2020 with the latest coming from Loman’s teammate Kevin Belingon last month.
Belingon suffered a second-round knockout as Kwon unloaded a solid liver shot which sent the Team Lakay fighter grimacing down the floor.
Should the Loman-Kwon materialize, fight fans can expect another revenge storyline for the Igorot warrior.