Stephen Loman could see his stock rise even higher after he was added to the stacked ONE X card to take on Shoko Sato in a bantamweight clash.
The Filipino fighter had a debut to remember in ONE Championship as he plastered Yusup Saadulaev in his first fight for the organization in December 2021 at ONE: Winter Warriors II.
The promotion announced Loman's inclusion in the much-awaited event:
“ONE Championship is swinging for the fences to make ONE X its biggest show in history. That said, the entire card has been divided into three parts, with five world championships on the line. But the stacked event has gotten even better with the addition of an intriguing bantamweight clash between #3-ranked contender Stephen Loman and Shoko Sato."
In his fight with Saadulaev, the former BRAVE CF bantamweight champion badly hurt the Russian grappler with a crisp counter-left cross. Referee Olivier Coste had no choice but to stop the fight 4:09 into the first round as Loman was poised to deliver more damage with his opponent sprawled on the mat.
Stephen Loman’s (14-2) victory immediately earned him a spot in the top five of the bantamweight rankings. He now sits as the No.3 contender in the division behind Kwon Won Il (No.2) and former champion Bibiano Fernandes (No.1).
Standing in Loman’s way at the three-part ONE X will be the veteran Sato, who’s won seven of his last eight fights, including a submission win over Kwon in ONE: Fire and Fury in January 2020.
Sato (32-14-2) is 2-1 in ONE Championship, with the Japanese knockout artist holding 19 KO/TKOs to his name. The 34-year-old from Sakaguchi Dojo won his last fight in November 2021 when he stopped Yasuhiro Kawamura 2:38 into the first round of their bout at Vale Tudo Japan VTJ 2021.
Stephen Loman is one of 5 fighters from the Philippines competing at ONE X
Stephen Loman will be the fifth Filipino to feature at ONE X on March 26 and the third from the famed Team Lakay stable.
Former lightweight champion Eduard Folayang was announced to take on striking legend John Wayne Parr in a Muay Thai contest in ONE X: Grand Finale, while Lito Adiwang takes on fellow Filipino Jeremy Miado in ONE X: Part I.
During a press conference for ONE X, Adiwang stated that he’s excited to be part of ONE’s 10-year anniversary card on the biggest night in the promotion's history:
“I really wanted to be on that card, and it happened. It’s a blessing for me because ONE X will finally push through, and I’m part of the schedule."
No.2 ranked women's atomweight contender Denice Zamboanga will also get her rematch against Korean veteran Ham Seo Hee, who’s No.3 in the rankings. They compete at ONE X: Part II, the second card of the evening. The fighters first tussled at ONE: Empower with the Filipino losing a controversial split decision.