After knocking out Jaroslav Jartim, 25, of Prague, Czech Republic in 2017, Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, of Mankayan, Benguet will face Adrian “The Hunter” Pang, 40, of Brisbane, Australia. While filled with confidence, Banario is aware of the strengths of his opponent, who is a martial arts veteran.
“Even if he is up there in age, he has not appeared to have slowed down,” Banario said of Pang. “He is still very strong, and he has the experience of a veteran, which is very tough to deal with.”
Originally from Kokopo, Papua New Guinea, Pang is of Chinese and European descent. He is a perennial lightweight competitor famous for his extreme toughness and has walked through opponents with his overwhelming power.
In addition to being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Pang is regarded as a hard-hitter who is known for dropping foes with a single punch. Comparing himself to Pang, Banario said, “I have a better cardio than he does, and I am a little taller than he is, so I am going to use that to my advantage.”
For Banario, Pang remains as a formidable counterpart due to his vast martial arts experience. But the Filipino fighter likes his chances against his Australian opponent as he believes that his size advantage will play a pivotal role in their lightweight clash.
“I am young and I am strong so I feel very confident that I can outlast him conditioning-wise,” Banario added. “In terms of skill, however, we are very even. We have a similar skill set.”
Following four stellar victories since transferring to the stacked lightweight bracket, Banario could be elevated to title contention for the ONE Lightweight World Championship, which is currently in the possession of two-division kingpin Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.
However, a tough test in the form of Pang awaits Banario at “ONE” Heroes of Honor” at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on April 21, 2018. It will be headlined by Banario’s Team Lakay comrade Kevin Belingon, who is taking on American contender Andrew Leone.
Here is a short interview with Banario days after knocking out Jartim: