Stephen Loman: from underdog to Brave world champion
As he made the walk to Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions, Stephen Loman was being overlooked by fans as an underdog for Brave’s inaugural Bantamweight title fight. He was about to face Gurdarshan Mangat, who had impressed in his previous two promotional outings. However, less than five minutes after the duo touched gloves, Mangat was left flat on the canvas, watching “The Sniper” take Brave’s belt back to Baguio, Philippines.
As he prepares for his homecoming after two successful title defenses, at Brave 22, set for Manila, on March 15th, Loman is not an underdog anymore. He’s simply the biggest world champion in Brave Combat Federation history. After running through Mangat, he faced longtime rival Frans Mlambo in Northern Ireland and, once again, dominated his foe, with a determined gameplan of combining takedowns and ground and pound.
A few months later, he became the first and only Brave world champion to defend his crown twice as he took care of dangerous Brazilian striker Felipe Efrain. Loman impressed in the co-main event of Brave 18 as he mixed his wrestling with a much-improved stand-up game, which took the Chute Boxe product by surprise.
Loman’s career in MMA can be mirrored by the rise of the sport in his home country. The Philippines have become a hotbed for MMA in Asia, and Brave Combat Federation has counted on Filipino athletes to help its rise to the top of combat sports.
His rise to the top has even made Ambassador Alfonso Ver, Filipino representative in Bahrain, ask specifically for a Brave event in his country. His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Brave’s patron, has responded accordingly, setting up Brave 22 for Manila, on March 15th.
“We have big plans for this year. In Asia, we already have a confirmed event in the Philippines, which was something that was requested by Ambassador Alfonso Ver. The fact that we have a Filipino champion in Stephen Loman made the Philippines a no-brainer destination for Brave and this is just the beginning for him and for us as a promotion”, says Brave president Mohammad Shahid.
Aside from Loman, the promotion counts on the likes of Jeremy Pacatiw, Jon Cris Corton, Crisanto Pitpitunge, Harold Banario, among others as an ever-growing Filipino contingent joins the likes of Brazil, Jordan and United States as strong countries represented in the Brave roster.
While an opponent has yet to be announced, Loman knows it will be a tough task, just as his other fights for Brave. However, “The Sniper” will finally count on his own people to support him, as he takes another step towards domination in the Bantamweight division and in the Filipino MMA scene.