The Middle East witnessed rapid growth in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts in recent years. The growth of the sport of Mixed Martial Arts in the region has attracted warriors from around the world to compete and build their legacy. The rise and dominance of Stephen Loman from the Philippines is an inspiring story of determination, discipline, and resilience. On 24th June 2020, Loman celebrated his 25th Birthday, which also marks 950 days of his championship title reign at the BRAVE Combat Federation.
Loman is one of the fighters who grew alongside BRAVE Combat Federation popularizing the promotion in the Philippines which also shares a rich history when it comes to combat sports. Loman is the sole champion in the promotion from the Philippines which is dominated by the ONE Championship and the UFC.
The bantamweight champion prides his Igorot heritage and embraces his identity that is close-knitted with warrior culture. Loman represents Team Lakay which is headed by the veteran coach, Mark Sangiao. The champion is battle-tested and has defended the championship title against contenders from the best fight teams around the world including, SBG Ireland, Chute Boxe, Tristar Gym, and La Bonne Ecole.
The fighter who has a Wushu background also has knockout power which was put into use as he knocked out the ONE Championship sensation, Gurdarshan Mangat to claim the inaugural championship title. Loman has also finished the former featherweight champion of the promotion, Elias Boudegzdame. Boudegzdame had made a wave in the promotion by stopping ex-UFC fighters in his earlier bouts with the promotion.
What is noteworthy is that four out of his six appearances at the BRAVE Combat Federation went the distance, out of which three were championship bouts. Loman is the only champion in the promotion to have a majority of his fights going the distance, drawing his opponents into deep waters with his resilience and brute strength that renders some of the best submission experts in the promotion to appear helpless.
Loman earned the respect of fight fans from around the world for his humility and for not indulging in trash talking. The bantamweight champion showcased a different side of martial arts which emphasizes discipline, respect, and humility.
The 28-year-old was honored during numerous occasions by Diplomatic Heads of Embassy of the Philippines of the United Kingdom and that of the Kingdom of Bahrain alongside being invited to the House of Representatives of the Philippines. After his second championship title defense, he was handed over the championship title by none other than Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Currently, the bantamweight star is dominating with a professional record of 14 wins against two losses with an impressive 8-fight win streak. The champion has stated that he is ready to defend the championship however there is speculation regarding who his upcoming opponent will be. There are a few front runners as per the recent speculation in the absence of any official announcements.
Among them is the Pride of Bahrain, Hamza Kooheji who has made an impact in the bantamweight division with six wins in the promotion against a single loss. Honored among the pioneers of the sport in the Kingdom, the KHK MMA star has defeated two of the teammates of the reigning champion including Jeremy Pacatiw and Crisanto Pitpitunge.
Another wild card entry will be the undefeated Amateur MMA fighter, Muhammad “The Punisher” Mokaev, from the United Kingdom. Mokaev is riding a 23-bout winning streak as an amateur MMA fighter. Most of his wins from 2017 to 2018 were in the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation. However, this may upset existing bantamweights in the roster if an amateur fighter is awarded the title shot upon his debut with the promotion. It is assumed that the upcoming championship title defense will be crucial for the champion as well as for the promotion who is establishing as a foothold in the Asian market.