Former Brave Combat Championship world champion Stephen Loman and Jhanlo Mark Sangiao had an impressive debut in ONE Championship, as they saved the night for Filipino warriors in ONE: Winter Warriors II in Singapore on Dec.17.
This, as former ONE bantamweight world champion Kevin Belingon suffered back-to-back losses when he was stopped by the taller Kwon Won II in the second round of the main event of the night.
The South Korean attacked Belingon with a steady stream of punching combinations from the opening bell, while the Filipino star fired back with his patented spinning attacks.
A thunderous left hook to the body in the second frame crumpled Belingon instantly, and the former bantamweight king was unable to continue.
Even second top contender Danny Kingad was outclassed by former champion Kairat Akhmetov en route to a unanimous decision victory, also giving the Filipino fighter his first back-to-back losses in his professional mixed martial arts career.
Akhmetov was relentless with his wrestling throughout the contest, consistently driving Kingad backward with powerful shots. On the ground, the Kazakhstani fighter controlled the action with technical precision.
While Kingad had his moments, they were few and far between as Akhmetov asserted himself at every juncture.
Meanwhile, Loman put on an electric performance in his debut, knocking out third-ranked bantamweight contender Yusup Saadulaev to end the Russian’s three-fight winning streak.
Loman showed patience and composure in dealing with the dangerous grappler, as he peppered Saadulaev with fast punches from range.
The end came when Loman connected on a left hook that sent his opponent crashing to the canvas late in the first round.
The Filipino prodigy Sangiao also made his presence felt when he submitted Paul Lumihi via rear-naked choke in the first round of their bantamweight contest.
The 19-year-old Sangiao, son of famous Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao, pressured Lumihi with strikes until an opportunity to take the fight to the ground presented itself. The young phenom then took Lumihi’s back and locked in the fight-ending submission, forcing the tap from his opponent. – Harley F. Palangchao