Loma Lookboonmee has suffered a couple of setbacks this year. Angela Hill handed the Thai a first UFC defeat and she then found herself stuck in rural Buriram during the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

But the 24 year old was able to make the most of a difficult situation. She recently gave a far reaching interview to the South China Morning Post in which she described training at her family’s gym in North East Thailand,

“I was at home, I was training with my family and I was watching training videos and training with the children at my father’s gym. I really wanted to get back to Phuket and work on my Jiu Jitsu which I couldn’t do at home,” she said through a translator.

Home training

With travel restrictions in Thailand having eased Loma is now back at Tiger Muay Thai and is relieved to have an experienced team behind her instead of having to find family members to train with,

“I don’t like to watch a lot of footage of my opponents because it puts pressure on me but I did use the time to study a lot of training videos and training techniuqes particularly in Jiu Jitsu and I trained Muay Thai with my brother and he helped me with my MMA.”

She has used the money from her MMA career to build a house for her family in Buriram. But while Loma says it was good to get back to her roots she had no hesitation in returning to Phuket as soon as the gym opened,

“I was at Tiger Muay Thai the first day it opened, George (Hickman) called me and told me I had to come back.”

Bulking up

Having previously competed in the 105lbs division Loma has had to bulk up to compete at strawweight. She says that is something she needs strength and conditioning coach Andrew Wood for,

“When I hear Woody’s name I want to cry! Training with him is the hardest thing I have ever done he really pushes me. It has helped me increase my size which is important and I feel a lot stronger.”

In Abu Dhabi on October 3rd she will face former Invicta FC atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey. Loma says this matchup has been on her radar for some time,

“The first day I signed for Invicta I looked and saw she was the champion so from that moment I wanted to fight her but I never fought it would be in the UFC.”

At UFC Auckland she dropped a decision to Hill. Loma was proud to share the octagon with a fighter she had always looked up to but came away with some regrets,

“I felt a lot of confidence after going three rounds with Angela becasue she is a top fighter. The first UFC event that my manager took me to in Chicago I saw Angela fight. I never thought I would get to fight her but I should have used my weapons more, thrown more punches and kicks, and moved forwards, I was backing up a lot.”

Loma will be determined not to make the same mistakes in Abu Dhabi. She will need to spend two weeks in quarantine when she gets back to Thailand and says her mother has sent her lots of protective masks and gloves for the journey.

The circumstances are slightly unusual but Loma will go into her third UFC fight in a positive state of mind,

“I feel confident about this matchup, especially standing up. She has a good left hand so I will look out for that and is a good all round fighter but I’m confident with my skills.”