February 9, 2023

Team Lakay’s Stephen Loman has further made his presence felt in ONE Championship when he overpowered the promotion’s former longest reigning world champion Bibiano Fernandes in one of the main cards of ONE on Prime Video 4 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Nov. 19.

Loman pulled off an upset unanimous decision victory against the 42-year-old Fernandes, the known tormentor of many world-class mixed martial arts fighters, including former world champion Kevin Belingon.

VICTORIOUS — Former Brave Combat Federation bantamweight world champion Stephen Loman has overpowered long-time ONE champion Bibiano Fernandes to secure a possible championship bout with the winner in a battle between John Lineker and Fabricio Andrade. — ONE photo

Fans were on their feet, as Loman unleashed ground and pound in the later part of the final third round, a scene fans were not expecting to witness with the former champion on the receiving end of unanswered blows.

Fans likewise erupted when Loman surprised Fernandes, a Brazilian jiu jitsu blackbelt with two takedowns, controlling the latter for most of the second and third rounds, a proof that the so-called “Baguio jiu jitsu” is evolving.

The Filipino phenom was also quicker to the punch on the feet, as he stalked Fernandes from the onset. He mixed his punches with a variety of kicks – from punches to head kicks to leg kicks – frustrating the Brazilian, who looked a step slower than his younger counterpart. 

With his stunning victory, Loman said he is ready to fight for a possible championship bout against the winner between reigning bantamweight world champion John Lineker and current top contender Fabricio Andrade on Feb. 20, 2023.

Meanwhile, former champion Belingon suffered yet another stoppage loss to the hard-hitting Kim Jae Woong of South Korea in the opening of the main card.

In his first appearance since dropping down from featherweight, the South Korean star shot across the circle and looked to make a statement.

Belingon was waiting, however, and broke his foe’s rhythm by scoring a takedown.Despite that early success, the Filipino veteran was unable to keep Kim down.

As the two warriors exchanged leather in the center of the Circle, Kim landed a crushing fadeaway left hook that dropped Belingon to the canvas. Seeing his foe fall, the Extreme Combat athlete moved in for the finish with calculated ground-and-pound strikes.

Managing his positioning first and foremost, Kim forced Belingon to cover up on the mat. He then rained down heavy shots, causing the referee to halt the action at 2:33 of the first round.

It was a pivotal victory for the former second-ranked featherweight contender, who emphatically announced his presence at bantamweight by putting away a former divisional king. – Harley F. Palangchao