Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao has set high expectations for his bantamweight fighter Stephen Loman when he enters the Circle for the first time against Yusup Saadulaev of Russia in ONE: Winter Warriors II on Dec. 17.
Sangiao believes that Loman, a former long-time bantamweight champion in BRAVE Combat Federation, will showcase the same passion and warrior spirit in ONE Championship.
“Stephen Loman is training with Kevin [Belingon] too and maybe that is one way on how I can level Stephen [in] ONE Championship,” said Sangiao in a recent interview with Asian MMA.
“What can I say is yes, Stephen is on the level of those big stars in ONE,” the Team Lakay patriarch added.
The match against Saadulaev marks Loman’s promotional debut and for Sangiao, this will be a good test for his fighter to prove his worth in a different promotion.
Loman, who holds an impressive 14-2 record, has not fought for more than two years now since defeating Louie Sanoudakis in BRAVE last November 2019.
The Team Lakay stalwart is riding on an eight-match win streak.
Saadulaev, for his part, scored his third straight victory with the recent coming from Troy Worthen in December 2020 to improve at 20-5 record with one draw.
“That’s what I want also for Stephen, to prove [himself]. He came from the other promotion and [he] will see how different the environment in ONE Championship is,” said the 42-year-old Sangiao.
“I saw the heart and mental toughness of Stephen Loman in the other promotion and Yusup will be a test [for him]. I’m looking the past performances of Yusup, he did well.”