Top-ranked bantamweight contender Fabricio Andrade is making sure that his feud with fellow rising star Stephen Loman remains white hot into the new year. Andrade, in an interview with ONE Championship, downplayed Loman’s recent success in the circle and said that the Filipino fighter has been beating fighters who are well past their prime.
The Brazilian star said that Stephan Loman is yet to face a fighter who’s at the peak of their respective career. Fabricio Andrade said:
“He’s fought veterans, hey. He hasn’t fought nobody near their prime. Saadulaev? Come on man, the guy’s near the end of his career, you know. Shoko Sato he’s still tough, but also near the end of his career. Now Bibiano. That’s what I’m trying to explain to you, you know.”
Loman is a perfect 3-0 inside the circle with impressive wins over Yusup Saadulaev, Shoko Sato, and most recently, former ONE bantamweight world champion Bibiano Fernandes. The Team Lakay star was already seen as a potential contender for the bantamweight throne, and his dominant unanimous decision win over Fernandes at ONE on Prime Video 4 sealed that distinction almost completely.
Though Loman and Andrade are yet to cross paths inside the circle, their brewing rivalry might just be the next great beef that ONE Championship sees in the coming years.
Fabricio Andrade unimpressed with Loman’s win over Fernandes
While most of the mixed martial arts community was thoroughly impressed with Loman’s win over Fernandes, the same cannot be said for Fabricio Andrade.
The No.1-ranked bantamweight contender intently watched the showdown between Fernandes and Loman in November 2022. Though Loman captured, arguably, the biggest victory of his career, Andrade wasn’t all that convinced with how the Filipino fighter won.
In an interview with ONE Championship, Andrade said:
“It was a boring fight, but Loman showed that he is the next challenger for the belt. But just like Lineker, he didn't impress me because he beat a guy who is at the end of his career, who is almost retiring. It wasn't impressive at all, but he's the next challenger for the belt.”
Nevertheless, the win was enough for ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong to give his high praise to Loman.
“Unbelievable. I mean I was really impressed. I mean, if he had finished Bibiano [Fernandes], he would have gotten the bonus and I think an automatic title shot,” said Sityodtong in the post-fight press conference.