Loma Lookboonmee’s rapid rise in MMA just kicked up another level.
The 23-year-old prospect from Buriram will make history on 26 October as the first Thai to step inside the Octagon at UFC Singapore.
“I am extremely excited to announce that I will be moving up to straw-weight to make my UFC debut, 26 October in Singapore,” Loma said in an Instagram post.
“I want to first thank Shannon Knapp and Invicta for starting off my MMA career. I wouldn’t have been here without their faith in me.”
Her signing will come as a breakthrough for Thai MMA, which boasts a long history with the sport and a talent pool that runs deep in the training hotspots like Bangkok, Phuket and Loma’s home town of Buriram.
After more than 300 fights in Muay Thai, she made her amateur debut with Thailand FC and went on to compete in Invicta FC’s atomweight division where she remains undefeated.
The Tiger Muay Thai prodigy suffered her first loss at Full Metal Dojo against fellow Thai Suwanan Boonsorn last year, but rebounded with a solid win over Monique Adriane at Invicta FC 35.
UFC Singapore is set to go down at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where welterweight contender Ben Askren meets Demian Maia in the main event.
A big boost
Loma’s UFC signing will no doubt throw a much-needed spotlight on the sport of Thai MMA.
While Full Metal Dojo and ONE Championship break new ground, MMA has been unable to garner mainstream recognition.
Even to this day, the sport has not received endorsement from the Sports Authority of Thailand and instead has to be run as an activity.
Without this important recognition, MMA in Thailand lacks government funding that other sports like Muay Thai and boxing receive.
With a record of 3-1 in MMA, expect big things from this young prospect.