By CARLO ANOLIN
Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao believes that another resounding win will push Stephen Loman closer to a bantamweight title shot, especially after an explosive debut last December.
“If Stephen will be able to duplicate the commanding result he got from this debut fight, then facing the champion won’t be that far-fetched,” said Sangiao.
“There’s still a lot that the ONE fans have yet to see from Stephen, but one thing that you should watch out for him will be his power.”
It would be recalled that Loman, a former bantamweight champion — the longest one to do so — in BRAVE Combat Federation, showed class in his ONE promotional debut by knocking out former No. 3 contender Yusup Saadulaev in the first round.
Despite the fact that Loman has not seen action since his last BRAVE win in November 2019, Sangiao was confident that the Team Lakay stalwart won’t show signs of ring rust.
And Loman did not disappoint as he propelled himself easily to the No. 3 spot of ONE’s bantamweight division.
“I was not surprised knowing the fight record and experiences of Stephen and that he was a long-reigning champion for some years in another promotion,” added the Team Lakay patriarch.
“What I was surprised of was Yusup’s game plan of exchanging strikes with The Sniper. Striking is the bread and butter of Team Lakay as we all know and we were expecting a ground game from Yusup, but he didn’t try to take the fight to the ground.”
The bantamweight division is expected to make a huge change depending on the results between the reigning champion Bibiano Fernandes and top contender John Lineker.
Nonetheless, Loman put the whole division on notice as he waits for the next call from ONE Championship.
No. 2 contender Kwon Won Il, who beat Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon, is most likely next on Loman’s radar.
Completing the bantamweight’s Top 5 are Fernandes, Lineker, Kwon, Loman, Fabricio Andrade, and Belingon.