Loman relishes debut win in ONE

Published December 20, 2021, 11:07 AM

by Carlo Anolin

Team Lakay’s bantamweight star Stephen Loman is more than satisfied with his impressive knockout win in his ONE Championship debut against No. 3 contender Yusup Saadulaev in ONE: Winter Warriors II over the weekend.

Stephen Loman (left) lands an overhand left to Yusup Saadulaev in their bantamweight clash in ONE: Winter Warriors II at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. (ONE Championship)

Loman, who was the longest reigning bantamweight champion in BRAVE Combat Federation, admitted that there were huge adjustments heading into his promotional debut in ONE.

From the hydration tests to the weighing system itself, the Team Lakay stalwart said he slowly felt comfortable with his movement and routine after receiving some pieces of advice from fellow ONE athletes in Kevin Belingon, Danny Kingad, ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio, among others.

And he did not disappoint after landing a solid overhand left to Saadulaev to make a clear statement that a new bantamweight standout has come.

“‘Yan na po ‘yong training namin sa gym. Kaya ginawa ko ‘yon. Naging instict sa laban (That what we’ve been practicing during training and I just felt the moment with my instinct),” said Loman, who improved to a 15-2 record. Kasi nakita ko na ring [tumama] ‘yong jab straight, binaba ko ‘yong ulo ko then overhand left ‘yong tumama (I also felt that my jab straights are landing, so I ducked and my overhand left landed).”

Against Saadulaev, who was known for his wrestling and grappling, Loman made sure to remain standing for a brawl and kept his movement active around the Circle.

The Igorot warrior utilized his power punches and overhand attempts to create space before finding the perfect timing to swing a counter left which sent Saadulaev wobbling down the canvas.

The Russian warrior attempted to stand up but referee Olivier Coste was quick to signal the end of the match, thus declaring Loman as the winner with 1:08 left in the first round.

“I think I got the speed sa laban (I think I got the speed as my advantage in this fight),” recalled Loman. “I also used my movements and ginamit ko ‘yong mga arsenal ko — ‘yong boxing, ‘yong kicking. Sinetup ko rin ‘yong mga ‘yon at ‘yon ‘yong nagbigay sa akin ng mga panalo (I also used my movements and my striking arsenal, my boxing and kicking. I have set up all of those and it gave me the win).”

With a high morale, Loman is expecting to fight once more before settling unfinished business with No. 1 contender John Lineker, who is also projected to face reigning bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes.

It would be recalled that Loman was supposed to face Lineker last March but the match was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.