Up to the task? Loman eager to prove he’s worthy of tough assignments

Published March 24, 2022, 10:40 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Stephen Loman

The quality of opponents thrown on Stephen Loman’s way may unnerve other fighters, but the pride of Baguio City sees things differently.  

He thinks it’s a sign that ONE Championship has confidence in his abilities. 

The Filipino martial artist tangles with Shoko Sato in a bantamweight encounter in the first part of ONE X – the historic card celebrating the promotion’s 10th anniversary – this Saturday, March 26.  

The 26-year-old made his ONE debut by beating erstwhile #3-ranked Yusup Saadulaev via first-round knockout in December. 

Before that matchup, Loman was set to face John Lineker, who recently captured the ONE Bantamweight World Title, but COVID-19 derailed that plan.  

With the names assigned to him, ”The Sniper” is more motivated to work on his craft. 

“I know they’re expecting a lot from me, especially since I already cracked the rankings. So now I just have to focus on my training because I know any time they can give me a fight,” he shared.   

“I feel the pressure definitely. So on my end, my mindset, I just have to keep on training so I’m always prepared.”  

For an athlete with just a single appearance in ONE so far, the Team Lakay veteran said he welcomes a stint in ONE X, another opportunity he doesn’t want to waste. 

“I’ve been here for only nearly a year and I feel truly blessed to be part of this,” he said.  

”I feel like ONE has been giving me a lot of faith and importance, especially after beating (Saadulaev). Now they’re giving me tougher fights and I’m closer to a World Title.”  

Beating Sato would certainly draw ”The Sniper” nearer to his target – a shot at Lineker’s belt. Whether that comes sooner or later, all the Filipino martial artist can do is be prepared. 

“If ONE feels like I deserve it right after this match then, of course, I’ll take it. But if they feel like I need to face more contenders, then that’s fine with me as well,” he stated.   

“But that’s for another day. Now I am focused on my opponent and in this fight to further propel me in the rankings.” 

Read More From ONE Championship:     

‘It’s Time For A New Champion’ – Stamp Fairtex Plans To End Angela Lee’s Long Reign  

ONE X Fight Card Revealed, Bout Order Confirmed For Pay-Per-View  

Picking The Difficult Path: Sexyama Reveals His Motivation Ahead Of Legends Clash With Shinya Aoki