Stephen Loman has announced his departure from Team Lakay. Nearly all of the big name fighters on the team left in 2023 and the bantamweight was one of only a handful of elite fighters to remain.
Now Loman joins Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, Kevin Belingon, Joshua Pacio and Lito Adiwang in leaving Mark Sangiao’s team. His departure definitely isn’t acrimonious and he made this clear in an emotional Facebook post.
“I had a heart to heart conversation with coach Mark (Sangiao) and personally thanked him for all the help that he extended me to become a better fighter. I conveyed to him my desire to leave the team and after some discussions peacefully granted my request.”
The timing of Loman’s departure is interesting. After the exodus from Team Lakay he remained and trained at the world renowned camp in preparation for his fight with John Lineker at ONE Fight Night 14.
Loman saw his 11 fight winning streak snapped by Lineker. There is no shame in losing by decision to the UFC veteran but the manner of defeat would have been particularly disappointing for the Filipino.
He spent three rounds trying to take Lineker down. It was clearly the wrong strategy and afterwards several fans expressed their frustration, even the Brazilian said he was surprised by Loman’s tactics.
Top bantamweight MMA contender John Lineker 🇧🇷 beats second-ranked Stephen Loman by unanimous decision ⚔️
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) September 30, 2023
Fighters from Baguio seem very reluctant to leave. The likes of Folayang, Banario, Belingon and Pacio have remained in the province and are training at the newly formed Lion’s Nation MMA.
Lito Adiwang is the exception that proves the rule. He moved to Bali to train at the Hiit Studio and it will be interesting to see whether Loman has any plans to travel overseas.