'Excited' Stephan Loman looking to keep up with Bibiano Fernandes in ONE clash | Inquirer Sports

‘Excited’ Stephan Loman looking to keep up with Bibiano Fernandes in ONE clash

06:40 PM October 29, 2022
Team Lakay's Stephen Loman.

Team Lakay’s Stephen Loman. ONE PHOTO

Stephen Loman kept it simple when asked about the gargantuan task of taking on grappling whiz Bibiano Fernandes.

“This is it,” he said.

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The Filipino striker out of the famed Team Lakay stable knows that hurdling the Brazilian veteran would propel him further up the bantamweight ladder. Fernandes, after all, was once the bantamweight king.

“I was just seeking out back then. Now, this. I’m excited that we’re finally facing off,” Loman said.

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Loman will be coming into the contest armed with a bevy of advantages.

“I have [in my corner] kuya Kevin (Belingon) who fought Bibiano four times,” he said.

Belingon dethroned Fernandes in a title unification bout in Singapore back in November 2018.

“There’s a [surplus] of advice and learnings that I could use, and that’s going to help in developing a game plan,” Loman said.

Aside from Bibiano’s rival in his corner, Loman is optimistic about his chances, having been in the winning column for years.

Loman has yet to lose in a pro fight since bowing to Rex de Lara in a PXC contest in Jan. 16, 2016. He became a champion in a Middle Eastern promotion and managed to bring his winning ways over to ONE.

“I’m motivated [over the fact] that I haven’t been losing. Every challenger has pushed me. I know there’s always a way how to dispose of an enemy. And that’s what has kept me going in training, making me undefeated,” he said.

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But Loman knows that he has never fought someone like Fernandes. The latter, after all, was once the promotion’s longest-reigning champion whose domination of the weight class spanned five years.

“I need to be careful,” he said. “I’m wary of his wild punch and his wrestling.”

“I’ve been preparing my wrestling defense and grappling. Especially against his rear-naked choke. I’m also trying to refine my movements so I can set up a knockout.”

“And if ever it goes down to grappling, I will keep up with him,” Loman said.

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