ONE Championship rookie Stephen Loman of Team Lakay hopes to avenge the loss of his senior Kevin Belingon when he takes on former UFC fighter John Lineker in the Circle in April.
Despite being a newcomer in ONE, Loman is no stranger to mixed martial arts after dominating the BRAVE Combat Federation to become the longest-reigning champion in the Bahrain-based promotion.
While Loman spent his downtime to ponder on his next move for his career with a looming contract expiration, Belingon had suffered a huge knockout loss against Lineker last November in their bantamweight clash.
Heading into ONE on TNT IV at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on April 28, the soft-spoken fighter known as “The Sniper” considered the situation as an extra motivation against the Brazilian “Hands of Stone.”
“This add[s] motivation dahil natalo ni si Kuya Kevin. Gusto ko rin ibawi ang kanyang talo at gagawin ko ang lahat nang makakaya ko sa laban (This adds extra motivation because of Kuya Kevin’s loss. I wanted to avenge him and I’ll do my best to win),” Loman, who holds a 14-2 record, told reporters in Tuesday’s media availability, March 30.
“Makikita na lang natin sa debut ko. Tingnan na lang natin sa laban doon ko lang mafe-feel kung saang level talaga ako (They will see what I have prepared for my debut. Let’s wait for the match and see where I gauge my level at this point).”
In a recent interview with the Manila Bulletin, coach Mark Sangiao believed that his prized student is at par with the No. 1 Lineker, saying that his preparation is at around 65 to 70 percent.
Sangiao and Belingon have joined forces to create the appropriate strategy against the heavy-handed Brazilian veteran. Thanks to Belingon’s tips and expertise, Loman, 28, pretty much knows how he will fare with the 31-year-old Lineker, who owns a 33-9 card.
“Lagi niyang (Belingon) sinasabi ‘pag nakuha niya (Lineker) ‘yung range niya na close range, bibitawan niya lahat ng combination niya. Tingnan ko ang mga bitaw na suntok niya (Kuya Kevin advised me that when Lineker is at close range, he’ll unload lots of combinations. I’ll see what I can do with that),” added the Team Lakay stalwart, who currently rides on an 8-0 win streak with the recent win against Louie Sanoudakis last November 2019 in BRAVE CF.
Joining Loman in ONE on TNT IV is another senior teammate in Eduard Folayang, who will face seasoned Japanese-Korean foe Yoshihiro Akikayama in the lightweight bout.