Loma Lookboonmee has been a competitive fighter for nearly 20 years and is a veteran of over 100 Muay Thai and boxing matches. She has experience beyond her years but being on the UFC roster brings a new set of challenges for the Thai strawweight.

For starters she has had to move up a division, having previously competed at the 100-105lbs mark. While Rizin and ONE Championship are putting on big atomweight fights every month Loma is busy competing against the world’s best 115lbers but she has no regrets,

“I don’t look at the other fighters or make comparisons. The UFC was my goal and I’m happy to go up in weight if it means I can fight in the UFC,” she said.

New challenge

Loma is also left with plenty of spare time, an unfamiliar experience for a fighter used to competing twice a month. This too represents a new challenge for the 25 year old,

“In Muay Thai I would fight every two weeks, normally I would take a break for one week and then train the next week so I would only prepare for a fight for one week. In MMA it is one fight every three or four months at most so that definitely feels a little strange,” she said.

Next up for Loma is UFC fight with Sam Hughes on May 1st (local time). She has been training at Tiger Muay Thai for several months waiting patiently to be offered a fight and is excited to be travelling to Las Vegas,

“It is going to be a fun time,” she said.

Ready for anything

She has not conducted exhaustive research on her opponent but is hoping Hughes won’t be too reluctant to keep the fight standing,

“I have watched a little bit, just one or two rounds but I don’t like to watch my opponents my coaches do that for me. She likes to keep it standing and I am very confident in my standup so any time someone wants to keep it standing I am happy.”

Having spent several years training under George and Frank Hickman at Tiger Muay Thai she is far from being a one dimensional fighter and is always in the gym, regardless of whether she has a fight booked. She has been working tirelessly on her wrestling and ground game and says she will be ready for anything come fight night,

“If she keeps it standing that is good but if she decided to do takedowns I am confident there too. At this level you have to be ready for everything.”

Important fight

She suffered a setback at UFC Auckland when she dropped a decision to ranked contender Angela Hill. Loma bounced back to beat fellow Invicta FC veteran Jinh Yu Frey at UFC Fight Island 4 last October, going the distance in that fight too.

Loma’s ultimate aim is to become the UFC strawweight champion. She has not cracked the top 15 yet so has a fair way to go but is determined to work her way up the rankings towards a title shot.

A second successive win would be a big step in the right direction and Loma wants fight fans in Thailand to get behind her as she seeks to become the country’s first ever UFC champion,

“The next fight is very important for me because I have been training for a long time for this fight and I need to win this fight if want to fight for the title. I hope everyone in Thailand will watch this fight.”