Stephen Loman thinks he has the perfect style for John Lineker. The Brazilian veteran is nicknamed ‘Hands of Stone’ for a reason but the Filipino is now worried about his opponent’s punching power.
The two bantamweights face off at ONE Fight Night 14 with a title shot surely on the line for the winner. Lineker has already knocked out Kevin Belingon who was fighting out of Team Lakay at the time.
But Loman thinks that the Team Lakay style is tailor made for the hard hitting Brazilian,
“Our style, which relies a lot on movement (and) is an effective way to strike as long as we have a tight guard and we can absorb shots well. If I do that, then I will have an effective style against Lineker.”
Stephen Loman 🇵🇭 MANHANDLED Bibiano Fernandes to take the win by unanimous decision! Should he face the winner of Lineker vs. Andrade II? 👑 pic.twitter.com/mKbJhfTpxC
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) November 19, 2022
It didn’t play out like that for Belingon but with an 11 fight winning streak Loman has lots of reasons to be confident. While Lineker will march forwards and look to land hard punches he clearly plans to use his movement to pose the veteran problems,
“It’s really a great style to use because I move a lot while creating angles. As you move and you hit your opponent, you gain points and if we connect squarely we can even get a knockout.”
Loman has been the distance in his last two fights. But he did knock out Yusup Saadulaev with an overhand left on his ONE Championship debut so the 31 year old’s belief in his power is not misplaced.
Given that he has won three fights out of three and beaten a former champion in Bibiano Fernandes the Filipino would be well within his rights to demand a title shot. But champion Fabricio Andrade is tied up with a kickboxing title match and Loman did not want to sit around waiting,
“At least now we have a fight, we won’t be idle for too long before the year ends. So it (the Lineker fight) is really great news for me.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) June 29, 2023
He also knows that a win over Lineker would absolutely guarantee him a shot at the champion,
“I need to get a big win against John Lineker. Then I know I’m next for Fabricio Andrade. No more qualms, no more anything, I’m next in line for a championship fight.”
Andrade was able to consistently out strike Lineker over the course of their two fights. But the Brazilian is an experienced kickboxer and one of the best standup fighters currently competing in the sport of MMA.
Loman clearly believes he is on that level. ONE Fight Night 14 is less than four weeks away and the Filipino says he is preparing to go ‘toe to toe’ with Lineker at the Singapore Indoor Stadium,
“I think I match up with his striking well because he’s an inside fighter, so I’ll train for that style while I have the time. I’ll train everything so I can go toe-to-toe with him. I’ll polish everything and use every single one of my tools.”