Honorio Banario says he’s in best shape of his life, aims to extend win streak

14 August 2018

Manila, Philippines: Team Lakay veteran and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario is scheduled to see action in the co-main event of ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON opposite Singapore’s Amir Khan. The two will lock horns in a three-round lightweight contest on 8 September, at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China.

Before he steps into the ONE Championship ring, let’s check out what Banario has to say ahead of his next big match-up.

“Losing those five straight bouts was devastating for me, but it also taught me how to be resilient and keep hope. I would never be where I am today if it weren’t for my teammates at Team Lakay always encouraging me to keep training and improving, my family and friends for continuing to motivate me, and to everyone who has believed in me. I still have a long way to go, but I’m motivated to keep winning.”

“I just want to beat whoever they put in front of me. If that leads to another shot at the world title, then I’m okay with it. As a martial artist, I just want to work on my skills and test myself against the best. Amir Khan is a strong, young fighter. He’s very technical especially when it comes to striking. He uses his height and distance very well. It’s going to be a tough challenge for me that’s why I’m preparing very hard. I expect a very good contest and my hand raised in victory.”

“I’m hungry and I’m in the best shape of my life. I feel very strong and I believe I can handle any opponent. Right now I’m working hard, despite the heavy rain and the cold. I’m in the gym training. I’m on the road running. This next bout is very important and I have to show that I am right to be considered among the best in the division. Amir is a young and hungry lion and he will be a very difficult opponent. I am prepared to go the distance with him, but I will be looking for every opportunity to finish the bout early.”

Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario is originally from a small farming town in the mountainous Benguet region of the Philippines. Banario earned a wushu scholarship to attend the Cordillera Career Development College in Baguio, and won several national tournaments. Although he spent most of his time competing against Team Lakay, he was intrigued by an invitation to train with them, and decided to take it up. Under the guidance of head coach Mark Sangiao, he developed into one of the team’s top talents. In recent years, “The Rock” has proven to be one of the most dangerous competitors atop ONE’s lightweight division. He takes on Amir Khan next.

Former Singaporean Muay Thai champion Amir Khan moved to the United States to attend high school in Louisiana, where he began cross-training in wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu under BJJ black belt Relson Gracie. Upon returning to Singapore in 2014, Khan joined Evolve MMA and became a part of its famed competition team. He then joined ONE that same year, and has since accumulated several highlight-reel finishes, highlighting his immense talent and growing skills. In his most recent bout, Khan stopped South Korean Sung Jong Lee with punches in the second round. Up next, Khan takes on veteran Honorio Banario.

ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON is set for 8 September at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China. The main event features ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan of China who defends her title against promotional newcomer Samara Santos of Brazil.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @burnsports

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