■ Harley F. Palangchao
ONE Championship top contender Stephen “The Sniper” Loman has announced he has parted ways with Team Lakay, whom he carried as his official team for the past nine years.
Loman, 32, announced in his social media post his departure from Team Lakay is not the end of his colorful mixed martial arts career, but just the start of another chapter in his profession.
He also assured both his fans and Team Lakay he had a “heart-to-heart” talk with team founder Mark Sangiao on Jan. 9 and he thanked the latter for all the help he extended to him to become a better fighter.
“I conveyed to him (Sangiao) my desire to leave the team and after some discussions. He acceded and peacefully granted my request to leave the team and actually, he even bade me good luck to my future endeavor,” Loman said.
“I hope you will continue supporting me as I continue to train and develop my skills while waiting again for a call from ONE Championship for me to fight inside the circle,” he added.
Loman currently has a contract with the Singapore-based ONE Championship after he left the Bahrain-based Brave Combat Federation after his successful defense of his bantamweight world belt in November 2019.
Loman still holds the record as the longest world champion in Brave FC, having held the belt for more than 1,000 days from 2015 to 2017.
The last time he saw action inside the circle was in September 2023 where he failed to clinch the belt from reigning ONE bantamweight world champion John Lineker.
Loman made his presence felt in ONE after he defeated some of the title contenders, including former champion Bibiano Fernandes in a dominant fashion.