March 4, 2021

John Lineker to Welcome Stephen Loman to One Championship

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Brave FC bantamweight champion Stephen Loman has vacated his belt and that he has cut ties with the organization. Shortly after, it was announced by his gym (Team Lakay) that he has signed a contract with One Championship.

His decision to leave Brave FC and sign with One Championship shouldn't be a surprise to anyone familiar with Asian MMA. Nearly all Team Lakay fighters fight for One Championship. It was just a matter of time before Loman joined his team mates there.

Immediately after the contract signing, it was announced that Loman's first opponent in the organization will be no other than former UFC bantamweight top contender John Lineker. After leaving the UFC in 2019, Lineker signed with One Championship and has so far notched two impressive wins. His most recent outing was a knockout win over Kevin Belingon, a Team Lakay fighter.

It goes without saying that Lineker is going to be Loman's toughest opponent to date. Lineker is a strong and crafty veteran with a record of 33 wins and 9 losses. Loman on the other hand has 13 wins and 2 losses. Lineker is way ahead when it comes to cage experience.

And let's not forget to take into account each fighter's level of competition. Loman may have worn a strap around his waist but he did so in a small organization. The caliber of the fighters he has faced can't even come close to Lineker's. Lineker has locked horns with the likes of Cory Sandhagen, Marlon Vera, TJ Dillashaw, and John Dodson.

Lineker also has the better punching power. 15 of his wins were via knockouts. In comparison, 4 of Loman's victories came by knockout. If they decide to stand and trade blows inside the cage, Loman will likely be the first to go down. 

Chin strength is also going to be a huge factor in this fight. Lineker has never been knocked out. All his losses were either via decision or submission. Loman has two knockout losses. This is despite the fact that Lineker has double the number of Loman's total fights.

Needless to say, Lineker is going to be the favorite in this matchup. He is more experienced. He is stronger. And he has the tougher chin. In many ways, it boggles the mind why One Championship decided to feed Loman to Lineker in his debut. They should've built his name first with lesser caliber fighters.

The only way I can see Loman winning this fight is if he fights on the outside, use movement to pick his shots, and take the fight to a decision victory. If he has any advantage over Lineker, it's that he's quicker. He should watch the Dillashaw-Lineker fight. That right there is the blueprint to beating Lineker.