Here’s what you need to know ahead of Stephen Loman’s fight against Elias Boudegzdame at Brave 22
At the close of 2018, Team Lakay had five world champions. But unlike Folayang, Belingon, Eustaquio, and Pacio, BRAVE bantamweight champion Mark Stephen Loman has never had the bright lights of the SM Mall of Asia Arena shine on him in his two championship fights.
Loman wrested the BRAVE bantamweight title from Frans Mlambo on June 9, 2018 in hostile Belfast, Northern Ireland. He defended his belt against Brazilian Felipe Efrain on November 16, 2018 in Bahrain. It was after his successful defense that BRAVE’s top brass promised Loman the opportunity to showcase his skill set on Philippine soil. And on March 15, they’re making good on their promise.
We’ve seen Loman fight before under the PXC banner. His most impressive victory under the Guam-based promotion was against KO machine Mark Abelardo. He was scheduled to challenge PXC bantamweight champ Trevin Jones; the fight never materialized following weight cut complications on the American’s end.
Loman’s potential next challenger Jose “Shorty” Torres describes the Lakay as someone who “always comes back from adversity.” “He’s a slow starter and almost always loses the first round,” observes the former UFC fighter. “Even in his last fight, we thought Felipe Efrain would put him away, but then he came back stronger each round and was able to stay the champion.”
Five of Loman’s last six victories have gone the distance. His last loss (personally the first time I saw Loman fight live) was care of a flash KO by Rex de Lara. Not one to have a granite chin, Loman’s measured pace could very well be his way to make sure that he doesn’t get caught twice. “In the first round, I’m feeling out the power of my opponents, always [finding] my range to land clean shots,” Loman defended against Torres’ critique. “There were times I was hit hard, but I managed to come back and make adjustments in the fight.”
FOX+ is the New Home of the UFC in the Philippines
I don’t know about you, but a little piece of me died when Hyper HD was replaced by One Sports last January 9, 2019. It was a mad scramble for us to find out where we could watch live UFC events, more so as the fated clash between TJ “Snake” Dillashaw – attempting to become a two-division champ – and Henry Cejudo draws near.
Yesterday, UFC and FOX Networks Group Asia announced a multi-year media-rights deal in the Philippines that will see the streaming of UFC’s 42 live events in 2019, including its prestigious Pay-Per-View (PPV) events and original programming, on video-streaming service FOX+. As expected, the first event is the highly anticipated flyweight championship superfight between UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. It will be streamed live on Sunday, January 20, starting at 11am on FOX+ with a catch up option post the live event.
FOX+ is FOX Networks Group Asia’s video-streaming service available on Android and iOS devices as well as on Apple TV and select Android TVs. The good news is, a free 30-day trial is available for new subscribers.
Team Lakay Now has Three ONE World Champions in Their Roster
One night after Team Lakay bagged four awards in ONE Championship’s Global Martial Arts Awards, Kevin Belingon outworked Bibiano Fernandes to become the new undisputed ONE bantamweight world champion. Winning by split decision, he joins Lakay teammates Geje Eustaquio and Joshua Pacio to hold three belts in Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization. And, two weeks from now, Eduard Folayang has the opportunity to reclaim his belt and make it four out of the 11 available belts strapped around a Lakay’s waist.
ONE Championship was Damn Right in Giving Mark Sangiao Coach of the Year
The main event at ONE: Heart of a Lion was nothing short of a Fight of the Year candidate. Bibiano Fernandes came out to win, bringing the fight to Kevin Belingon with his trademark grappling, working to finish the fight with several submission attempts. On the other hand, as expected Belingon did his best work on the feet, punishing Fernandes with body kicks and combinations that left marks on the former bantamweight king’s face as the decision was read. Easily, Bibiano won Round 3, while Belingon took Round 5. The rest of the rounds, we could argue ’til kingdom come.
Most people’s light bulb memory of Kevin Belingon was his flash knockout of David Aranda at ONE: Moment of Truth. Personally, Kevin Belingon’s loss to Masakatsu Ueda is the memory I always refer to pertaining to ‘The Silencer’. Sure, he lost that bout, but it was an excellent performance as he used all his available tools to keep the Japanese grappling stalwart at bay. My favorite was his strategy of timing a knee whenever Ueda would dive for a takedown.