'The Sniper' positions self for bantamweight title shot
Stephen Loman made a strong case for a bantamweight title shot by dominating former champion Bibiano Fernandes in the main card of ONE on Prime Video 4: Abbasov vs. Lee on Saturday.
"The Sniper" looked impressive while beating the highly-decorated grappler in his own game, wearing down Fernandes with constant pressure en route to a unanimous decision during their 153-pound catchweight bout.
The victory positioned Loman to a possible shot against the winner in the title rematch between Jon Lineker and Fabriacio Andrade.
"The game plan went well," said the Team Lakay stawart after his victory. "I was confident with my striking and wrestling."
"He's a former champion is a legend in the sport and he's tough."
Right from the opening bell, Loman peppered Fernandes with low kicks, showing no intimidation against the BJJ specialist potential takedown attempts. He even surprised the Brazilian by scoring a takedown and going for a ground and pound assault.
Fernandes opened the second round with a big shot that dropped Loman to the seat of his pants. But the Filipino quickly recovered, pinned the Brazilian to the cage then sent the action to the ground for an intense grappling match.
It wore down Fernandes, who entered the third round still catching his breath, leaving him open to Loman's constant pressure. The Filipino again took Fernandes to the ground late in match, pounding away until the final bell.
"Our hard work paid off," said Loman, who now owns victories over Fernandes, Yusup Saadulaev and Shoko Sato. It was his 11th straight win and 17 MMA career victory overall.
The Team Lakay upstart said he will gladly welcome a chance to prove himself to become a champion.
"If they give me a shot, of course yes. I'll take the title shot."
Meanwhile, his teammate Kevin Belingon succumbed to a stoppage loss during his return to the cage against Kim Jae Woong.
The former ONE bantamweight champion was caught with a vicious right straight-left hook combo while charging his way in, dropping the Filipino to the mat.
Kim then chased Belingon to the ground and rained punches until the referee called a halt in the bout 2:33 into the first round.
It was Belingon's fifth-straight defeat since losing his title to Fernandes in March 2019.