COMBAT SPORTS

Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon are Stephen Loman’s MMA idols

Joshua Pacio, Geje Eustaquio, Mark Sangiao, Kevin Belingon, Eduard Folayang, Stephen Loman (© ONE Championship)

Joshua Pacio, Geje Eustaquio, Mark Sangiao, Kevin Belingon, Eduard Folayang, Stephen Loman (© ONE Championship)

Based in Baguio City, Philippines, mixed martial arts team Team Lakay has three reigning MMA world champions. They are ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landsilde” Folayang, 35, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 31, and Brave Combat Federation Bantamweight Stephen “The Sniper” Loman, 23.

“My MMA idol is of course my (fellow reigning champions in Team Lakay),” Loman told me in an exclusive interview. “When I was still very young in this sport, (I was encouraged by) watching Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, their fights, and of course, I’m motivated by their (way of) giving proud (moments) to the Philippines when they won so I’m motivated by their fights.”

Team Lakay was founded by its current head coach Mark Sangiao. Earlier this year, the team has six reigning MMA world champions but Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 22, and Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29, recently lost their respective titles in the strawweight and flyweight divisions of ONE Championship.

Loman, Folayang and Belingon are all set to defend their respective titles. Both Folayang and Belingon are on the “ONE: A New Era” card.

“ONE: A New Era,” the first ONE Championship event to be held in Japan, will take place at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on March 31, 2019. In the main event, Folayang will defend his belt from Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Japan in a rematch.

Belingon will defend his belt from Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Brazil at “ONE: A New Era.” It will be a trilogy bout.

On March 15, 2019, Belingon’s fellow bantamweight fighter Loman will defend his belt in the main event of “Brave 22: Storm of Warriors” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

“Brave 22: Storm of Warriors” is the first ever Philippine event of Bahrain-based MMA promotion Brave Combat Federation. Loman’s challenger in the main event is former Brave CF Featherweight Champion Elias “Smile” Boudegzdame, 25, of France.

This will be the first time Loman is competing in Brave CF in his home country. The promotion has brought him to different countries where he experience different cultures and traditions.

“Every time I fight, I am adapting to the culture of different places, either in Bahrain, in Belfast, I adapt to the time and of course, their tradition and culture,” Loman said. “But it’s very nice to experience those things because you see a lot of, you see a lot of the tradition and culture in every country so it’s a very good experience to see (such things).”

Here is my recent interview with Loman:

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