ONE: Stephen Loman rises in bantamweight ranking, eyes No. 2 Kwon Won-il
MANILA, Philippines—Stephen Loman enjoyed a debut unlike many others when he stopped Yusup Saadulaev in ONE: Winter Warriors 2 back in December.
Saadulaev, who was the no.3 bantamweight during the fight, got smothered in the bout eventually losing to Loman via technical knockout 4:09 into the first round.
Not only did Saadulaev lose the bout, he also relinquished his bantamweight ranking to Loman who is now on the hunt for the division’s number 2 Kwon Won-il.
“I think Kwon Won will be a good match for me,” said the Team Lakay fighter, himself a former champion at BRAVE CF. “Expect from me that I will give my everything to stay on the ladder and climb my way up to fight for the title at the soonest.”
The 30-year-old Loman (14-2), now ranked No.3 contender, was well aware of Saadulaev’s skills heading up to their fight at Singapore Indoor Stadium and while he quickly ended the bout, he also admits to have learned so much from the Dagestani grappler.
Saadulaev (20-6) was carrying a three-fight winning streak into the card and was also the winner in eight of his last nine bouts.
“When I was watching Yusup in his fights and when he teaches his students, he is very technical on the ground and I can’t help but be impressed and learn, too, from him,” said Loman.
“Yusup is not just good at the ground but in striking as well. When I was landing my kicks, he was fast with his punches and that got me. He put me down and when I tried to counter him too, he got a solid chin and a good heart to stand back up again.”