“I’ll Be Looking for a Clean Shot” – Stephen Loman Targets Knockout Against Yusup Saadulaev

Published 12/09/2021, 1:12 AM EST

Nine months after penning a deal with the world’s largest martial arts organization, Filipino warrior Stephen “The Sniper” Loman finally makes his ONE Championship debut. 

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“The Sniper” takes on #3-ranked bantamweight athlete Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II, which premieres next Friday, 17 December, from the Singapore Indoor Stadium. 

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He was scheduled to make his first appearance on the global stage versus #1-ranked John “Hands of Stone” Lineker in April, but Loman had to pull out after testing positive for Covid-19. 

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“I appreciate the respect that ONE is giving me by putting me against ranked contenders right away,” the 26-year-old said.  

“I was supposed to make my debut early this year, but, unfortunately, I got Covid. The good thing is as soon I recovered, I kept training for seven months until I got called up to face Yusup. Now, I’m really ready because I’ve been preparing for a long time.”  

Stephen Loman talks about how his canceled bout motivated him

His supposed debut opponent, Lineker, went on to knock out American wrestling sensation Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen in the first round. This October, the 31-year-old heavy striker received confirmation that he will put his 3-0 ONE record on the line to challenge Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes for the ONE Bantamweight World Title.  

The Baguio City-based combatant feels he could’ve been next in line against “The Flash” if it was him who defeated Worthen. But “The Sniper” does not entirely regret missing out on the title opportunity, for now. If anything, it motivated the wushu practitioner even more to deliver an impressive performance against his Russian opponent. 

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“I’ve been thinking about [the missed opportunity]. Sometimes I really feel at a loss because that was such a big opportunity for me, and I had to pull out because of Covid,” he said.  

“The frustrations I had then with the cancellation of that match only motivates me to prepare harder for this match. I just have to be confident and believe in my skills.” 

‘The Sniper’ aims for a stoppage victory at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II

The Team Lakay standout highly believes that his skill set will be enough to put on a memorable performance at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II. 

Loman is eager to extend his eight-fight mixed martial arts win streak. Knocking out the 36-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist will be the perfect way to kickstart his ONE career and erase any regret of missing out on a world title shot. 

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“That’s the plan (to knock out Saadulaev). I’ll be looking for a clean shot. I’ll be using my movements,” he said. 

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“He’s a southpaw like me, so I really have to be careful when looking for that clean shot. However, if there’s a chance for me, whether on the feet or even on the ground, I’ll take it.”  

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Download the ONE Super App to catch Loman and Saadulaev in action at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II next Friday, 17 December. 

 

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Arman Khan

251 articles

Arman Khan is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He began following combat sports when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor competed in 'The Money Fight' in 2017. 'The Notorious' attracted Arman to the UFC, and he became an ardent fan of professional fighting as he could draw parallels with the action from his combat sports experience and break down techniques such as striking and striking defense lucidly for the casual fans.

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