Loman begins hunt for title shot

Stephen Loman of Team Lakay is eager to prove his worth in the bantamweight division of ONE Championship to fulfill his dream of becoming a world champion in the Singapore-based promotion.

Stephen Loman of Team Lakay (ONE Championship)

Focusing on what's ahead when he faces Japanese contender Shoko Sato in ONE: X, ONE Championship's 10th-year anniversary event, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Saturday, March 26, Loman accepted the challenge and remained ready on call despite the last-minute notice.

"Akala ko 'yong rank No. 2 'yong bibigay pero ako naman 'yong pinalit. Kaya hopefully, heto na 'yong time (I thought ONE would match me against the No. 2 fighter but I was the substitude. Hopefully, this is the time for me)," said Loman in a media availability Wednesday, March 23.

Loman, without a doubt, said he's willing to take on whoever the promotion prepared for him. Perhaps, after two more wins, including against Sato, the Team Lakay stalward would have to request for a crack at the belt.

"Pero ngayon focus lang muna sa laban para tumaas pa 'yong ranking natin and matalo 'yong mga top opponents (I need to focus on this fight first to improve my ranking and to defeat the top opponents)," said Loman, who holds a 14-2 record.

ICYMI: One more convincing win for Loman gets him closer to title shot, says Sangiao

Loman has been vocal in expressing his desire to face South Korean star Kwon Won Il, the No. 2 bantamweight contender.

But it looks like the bantamweight division had a major change after John Lineke knocked out and dethroned Bibiano Fernandes to capture the ONE bantamweight title.

That said, a rematch or Lineker facing Kwon or No. 4 Fabricio Andrade are the likely possible scenarios for the reigning Brazilian striker.

It is also possible that a three-way matchup between Kwon, Andrade, and Loman could determine the challenger for Lineker.

"'Yong rank No. 2 sana para malapit na tayo sa title fight. 'Yon sana 'yong gusto ko pero 'yon nga, 'di natuloy. Ako 'yong parang sinubstitude sa laban na 'to kaya focus pa din (I really wanted to face the No. 2 fighter to inch closer to the title shot. Unfortunately, it did not materialize. I became a substitute so I need to step up and focus on the match)," added Loman. "Every time na lalaban ako I need to to focus para maipanalo ang laban (I need to focus in every fight so I could win)."

Loman, the longest-reigning champion in BRAVE Combat Federation, propelled his way to the No. 3 spot after knocking out and ousting Yusup Saadulaev last Dec.

Sato, for his part, has won three of his four ONE Championship bouts with an overall record of 32 wins and 14 losses.