Loman wants Bibiano next

Published April 1, 2022, 7:26 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Team Lakay’s bantamweight star Stephen Loman sees top-ranked contender and former champion Bibiano Fernandes as the next best opponent for him en route to a title shot.

Stephen Loman (ONE)

Loman, who had back-to-back wins since entering the promotion last December 2021, expressed confidence that he is actually ready to face Fernandes, who was dethroned by former No. 1 John Lineker which created major changes in the bantamweight landscape.

But the Team Lakay stalwart wanted just one more win to prove that he’s worthy of a crack at the belt.

“Nakikita ko na po na the best si Bibiano kasi I think he’s a more complete fighter and he’s very good sa kanyang mga striking (Bibiano is the next best choice for me. I think he’s a more complete fighter and he’s very good in striking),” said the soft-spoken Loman.

“Nakita natin na tumatama ‘yong kanyang suntok kay Lineker, napabagsak niya. Maganda rin ‘yong ground game niya. Siguro siya ‘yong magpu-push sakin na mag-training pa and mag-ready kay John Lineker (His strikes against Lineker were hitting and he even knocked him down. He also as good ground game. I think he’s going to push me to train harder and prepare for Lineker).”

READ: Loman begins hunt for title shot

No. 2 Kwon Won Il and No. 4 Fabricio Andrade are obviously in Loman’s radar and said whatever decision ONE Championship came up with, he’ll be ready to take on the challenge.

It just happened that Bibiano was the best choice for Loman.

Interestingly, the said matchup will also serve as a redemption bout for Team Lakay as former world champion and now No. 5 fighter Kevin Belingon suffered back-to-back losses against Bibiano which was settled in their trilogy last October 2019.

From the get-go, this was one of Loman’s main motivations in taking on the Brazilian great.

“Si Bibiano matagal naging champion. I’m happy to fight him kasi ‘yong mga advice na bibigay ni kuya Kevin, ish-share niya ‘yong mga strengths and weaknesses ni Bibiano (Bibiano has been the champion for the longest time. I’d be happy to face him. Kuya Kevin will be there to help me prepare for him),” added the former BRAVE Combat Federation bantamweight champion.

Loman notched his 10th straight win since April 2016 with the most recent against Japanese opponent Shoko Sato via unanimous decision last Tuesday, March 29 in ONE: X, ONE Championship’s 10th-year anniversary at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

READ: Team Lakay coach says Stephen Loman is ready to challenge John Lineker