While Filipinos remain undoubtedly a basketball-crazy bunch, they will soon find inspiration in a new Pinoy sports hero, Stephen “The Sniper” Loman, the World Bantamweight Champion of Bahrain-based Brave Combat Federation. This global Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization was founded by no less than His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family.
Loman will fight in the Philippines for the first time during the Brave CF 22: “Storm of Warriors,” to be held March 15, 2019 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. He will be joined by 10 other world-class MMA fighters in this phenomenal fight card.
Experience Travel and Living sat down with Loman during the press event that announced the partnership between Brave CF and TV5 to take a closer look about this exciting MMA world champion.
How did you get involved with MMA?
“When I was in high school, I really wanted to play basketball. One day, my older brother had me enroll at the Team Lakay gym. I immediately fell in love with the sport and I became passionate about it. Though all I wanted was to play basketball, I saw that I had skill, a gift in this sport, and that was it.”
How does your typical day start?
“I eat first a healthy diet when I wake up. Then, I prepare myself to go to the gym for training, starting with an early morning cardio workout and conditioning then sparring. In the afternoon, I go to the gym again to learn new fighting techniques, and also to study our opponents to determine their strengths and weaknesses.”
How do you train for a fight?
“I always prepare hard, especially for the March 15 fight, which will be for 5 rounds. I should be ready and prepared physically to fight up to 5 rounds, and my conditioning should last me even up to 6 rounds. I do joggings and sprints to boost cardio power. In terms of emotional preparation, I just see to it that I remain patient even if I’m tired, especially during training.”
What about your diet?
“It should always be focused on a healthy and balanced diet like eating vegetables and protein. However, as a fight draws near like one week before, I go on a strict diet like not eating too much so I won’t go overweight during the weigh-in because there will be a penalty.”
Do you feel any pressure, now that you’re fighting in the country for the first time?
“What am thinking at this point? Well, there is always that pressure, especially since I’m fighting in front of kababayans and of course, my family. But everything really depends on how I will handle the fight despite the pressure of fighting on home soil. Of course, being the local, the general expectation is for me to win the fight but I will do my best to win to make our countrymen proud.”
Going a bit personal here. Wife? Girlfriend? What’s your type of girl? How will you make her understand what you do?
“I have a girlfriend, though I’m focused on the fight right now. I found a girl who didn’t have to be sporty, just a girl who’s supportive of what I do, and I showed her that I use it in the right ways. I have shown her what kind of martial artist I have become and how I learned to be humble and patient, all the good things that the sport has brought and taught me.”
Oh, and did we mention that Loman is just 23 years old?