Team Lakay’s Stephen Loman will face a tall order in his ONE Championship debut when he takes on No. 1 bantamweight fighter John Lineker of Brazil in ONE on TNT 4 in April.
Though Loman was expecting to face top calibers in ONE, the Team Lakay stalwart admitted having mixed emotions in facing Lineker, a UFC veteran who knocked out his teammate Kevin Belingon last November.
“It’s a chance for me to fight the best, which is what I wanted. He is one of the best fighters in the division, and a very tough opponent for me,” said Loman, the longest reigning champion in Bahrain-based promotion BRAVE Combat Federation.
“I’m taking on a very dangerous man who is maybe the top-ranked fighter in the division now next to the bantamweight king, Bibiano [Fernandes]. It’s not an easy fight, by any means. Lineker has a lot of power.”
Before joining ONE Championship, Loman had defended his bantamweight title in BRAVE CF four times and won five straight times in the Bahrain-based promotion.
The man known as “The Sniper” last saw action in November 2019 in BRAVE CF 30 to improve his record at 14-2.
Against Lineker, Loman will be facing a former UFC knockout artist who is riding on a two-match win streak since his ONE debut last October 2019.
Lineker, 31, isn’t called Brazil’s “Hands of Stone” for nothing as he holds a 33-9 card with seven knockouts and two submissions.
In his most recent fight, Lineker stunned Belingon in the second round last November to become the No. 1 contender in the bantamweight division, sitting next to current champion Fernandes.
This time around, Loman, seeking revenge for his Team Lakay senior, has a lot to prove on April 29 as a newcomer in ONE Championship.
“Right now, I’m not trying to go out there and say I’m the best in the division. I’m the new guy, a champion coming from a different organization, so I have a lot to prove. I don’t know where I rank currently, but we’ll see soon enough,” said the 28-year-old Loman.