When Stephen “The Sniper” Loman, 23, of the Philippines successfully defended his Brave Combat Federation Bantamweight Championship title at “Brave 18: Bahrain,” it was Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, 30, of Russia who handed him his belt. It was the first time the Filipino champ met the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion.
“Idi nalpas da in-announce nga siak ti nangabak ket in-awat ni Khabib diay belt,” (After the announcement that I won, Khabib handed me the belt) Loman told Conan Daily after his “Brave 18: Bahrain” victory. “Nabiglaak ta isuna gayam diyay ken kasla mayat ti riknak ta nakitak isuna personal.” (I was surprised to see that it was really him and I felt good because I saw him in person.)
On October 6, 2018, Nurmagomedov successfully defended his UFC Lightweight Championship title from former champion Conor “Notorious” McGregor, 30, of Ireland in the main event of “UFC 229” at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, United States. It improved the Russian champion’s professional MMA record to 27 wins and 0 loss.
On November 16, 2018, “Brave 18: Bahrain” featured 12 mixed martial arts matches, including four World Fighting Championship Akhmat bouts at the Khalifa Sports City Arena, Isa Town, Bahrain. In the 11th bout of the evening, Loman won via unanimous decision against his challenger Felipe Efrain, 24, of Brazil after five five-minute rounds.
“Nabuyak lang idi last month nga inabak na ni (Conor) McGregor,” (I just watched him beat McGregor last month) the reigning Brave CF Bantamweight Champion said. “Kuna na nga (He told me), ‘You are a champion. You deserve to be a champion.’”
“Brave 18: Bahrain” marked the second time Loman successfully defended his belt. He is training out of Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines, which is also home to other Brave CF athletes namely Jeremy “The Juggernaut” Pacatiw, 22, Jon Chris “Happy Feet” Corton, 26, Jomar Pa-ac, 21, Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge, 31, and Harold “The Artist” Banario, 24.
For the third time, Loman will defend his Brave CF Bantamweight Championship title at “Brave 22: Storm of Warriors” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on March 15, 2019. His challenger will be former Brave CF Featherweight Champion Elias “Smile” Boudegzdame, 25, of France.
“Brave 22: Storm of Warriors” marks Brave CF’s debut in the Philippines. Meanwhile, here is a recap of Loman’s two successful title defenses in 2018: