Bontoc, Mountain Province – The Filipino MMA star, who belong to the Indigenous People of the Cordilleras and successfully defended his world title belt at Belfast, Northern Ireland last June 9, 2018, comes home.
Stephen “The Sniper” Loman, 22, who traces his roots from Bauko and Barlig of Mountain Province and Banaue, Ifugao is still the reigning Brave Combat Federation Bantam Weight Champion after a unanimous decision victory over the challenger, Frans Mlambo of Dublin, Ireland during the “Brave 13: Europe Evolution.”
Loman, who is part of Team Lakay of Baguio City, earlier earned his title shot at the Middle East-based Mix Martial Arts (MMA) – Brave Combat Federation after stopping the Canadian Gurdashan Mangat via Technical Knockout during the first round of their bout in Bahrain.
The Sniper now holds the record as the youngest MMA champion in the Middle East and Europe.
Last June 19, the MMA champion, together with his parents, visited Mountain Province and paid a courtesy call to Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. at the Provincial Capitol in the capital town.
Lacwasan was elated to meet the champion while thanking him for displaying the heart and courage of an Igorot to the rest of the world during his fights.
“Your victories are good news. We, especially your parents, are very proud of your accomplishments. You are now among the elite fighters who came from the highlands to hold a world championship title,” the governor said.
The governor also expressed his intent to invite the champion to grace the opening of the sports complex of Mountain Province as it is nearing its completion.
In an interview, Loman informed that he is a Criminology graduate at the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City and has already passed the board examination.
He was introduced to MMA by his older brother and since then fell in love with the sport. He became a wushu scholar in college and later joined the famed Team Lakay.
He advised the aspiring fighters who wished to enter the MMA and other sports to focus on their training and avoid vices.
“One must hone their skills through hard work, dedication and discipline and most importantly, training,” he remarked.
When asked of his plans when he retires from MMA sports, he said that he will either engage in business or become a policeman.
Loman is the 5th among the six children of Roldan Luis S. Loman of Mountain Province and Naty N. Loman of Ifugao.
The champion’s parents are the primary witness to the champion’s struggles, discipline and love of the sports.
“At first I didn’t want him to enter the MMA because of the nature of the sport, but upon seeing his dedication and love of the sport, we gave up and we supported him in all his fights,” his mother said.
By: Erwin S. Batnag
Banner Photo: Stephen “The Sniper” Loman, the reigning Brave Combat Federation Bantam Weight World Champion, posses with Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. during his courtesy call on Tuesday. Photo by: Erwin S. Batnag