By Kevin Estrada
Team Lakay’s Stephen Loman took the jump to ONE Championship from Brave Combat Federation in February of being able to face the toughest challenges possible.
Having dominated the bantamweight division of the Bahrain-based promotion, the Sniper finally got his wish at fourth and final installment of ONE on TNT, pairing him with the Brazilian top-ranked contender John Lineker on April 29.
Despite being a neophyte at ONE, Loman was surprised that he got the Hands of Stone right away. But he was happy to get this rare shot at challenging the best in the business.
He candidly said, “He is one of the best fighters in the division, and a very tough opponent for me.”
Loman knew the quality of the former UFC veteran, who zoomed to the top of the bantamweight pile after knocking out his Lakay teammate Kevin Bellingon at the main event of Inside the Matrix III last November in Singapore.
The 29 year-old added, “I’m taking on a very dangerous man who is maybe the top-ranked fighter in the division now next to the bantamweight king, Bibiano [Fernandes]. It’s not an easy fight, by any means. Lineker has a lot of power.”
Looking back at his decision to switch promotions, it was based on pure competitive instinct as he wants to prove he’s no big fish in a small pond.
“Obviously, the decision to join ONE Championship was one I thought about for a long time. It’s the largest martial arts organization in the world. I’m a fighter, and I’m seeking the toughest challenges. I want to test myself against the best. ONE Championship has the best fighters,” said Loman.
“All my teammates told me great things about ONE Championship. They say competing in this organization is good. The promotion takes very good care of its fighters, and is very generous, especially for good performances.”
Follow the writer on Twitter: @kevinlestrada