Backing Up The Hype: Stephen Loman’s Flawless Run In ONE Championship So Far
But first, the Filipino phenom has one more hurdle to clear – a high-stakes matchup with former divisional king and current #1-ranked contender John “Hands of Stone” Lineker at ONE Fight Night 14: Stamp vs. Ham on Prime Video.
Scheduled to air live in U.S. primetime on Friday, September 29, that contest will be Loman’s opportunity to remove any lingering doubts that he belongs among the planet’s top bantamweights.
Before the 28-year-old battles Lineker at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, we look back at his sensational run through ONE so far.
Blasts Yusup Saadulaev In ONE Debut
In December 2021, Loman arrived in the world’s largest martial arts organization riding an eight-fight winning streak. By then, he was widely considered one of the Philippines’ most talented rising stars.
Given the lofty expectations surrounding him, “The Sniper” was thrown into the deep end for his promotional debut, as he faced then-#3-ranked bantamweight MMA contender Yusup Saadulaev at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II.
Loman would need less than one full round to flash his ruthless finishing power and announce his presence among the divisional elite. After a brief feeling-out process, the Team Lakay southpaw found a home for his thunderous left hand, sending the Russian melting to the canvas after just 4:09 of action.
With his victory, the highly touted bantamweight had made a terrifying statement to the rest of the division: The hype was real.
Overwhelms Shoko Sato With Dynamic Offense
In a beautiful showcase of his all-around skill set, the Filipino mixed up his explosive, wushu-style striking attack with powerful takedowns and relentless ground-and-pound.
In both the second and third stanzas, Loman was able to put the crafty veteran on his back with perfectly executed double-leg takedowns. From there, he suffocated Sato with top pressure while hammering away with punishing ground strikes.
That work on the canvas secured a unanimous decision victory for the Team Lakay athlete, positioning him for a big step up in competition.
Out-Grapples Former Bantamweight King Bibiano Fernandes
In his most recent appearance, Loman squared off with former longtime ONE Bantamweight MMA World Champion Bibiano Fernandes. Many considered that clash at ONE Fight Night 4 to be the stiffest test of the Filipino’s career.
Loaded with confidence, Loman marched forward and stalked his prey from the opening seconds. Instead of avoiding the Brazilian’s vaunted ground game, “The Sniper” fearlessly engaged in – and won – numerous grappling exchanges throughout the fight.
With his seemingly endless gas tank, Loman poured on the aggression from bell to bell. That torrid pace took its toll on an exhausted Fernandes, who fell victim to a pair of huge suplex takedowns in the final frame.
“The Sniper” ended the fight with a ferocious volley of ground strikes to seal the decision win, propelling himself into his upcoming showdown with Lineker at ONE Fight Night 14.