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 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.”
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