Representing Team Lakay of Baguio City, Philippines, Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, is returning to the ONE Championship cage one year after his most recent bout. He will compete against Adrian “The Hunter” Pang, 40, of Australia in the lightweight division at “ONE: Heroes of Honor” at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on April 21, 2018.
The last time Banario fought in the cage was on April 21, 2017. He knocked out Jaroslav Jartim via punch at “ONE: Kings of Destiny,” which also took place at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I’m a hundred percent ready to go back in there again,” Banario said. “I will fight anyone who stands in front of me.”
Banario was first ONE Featherweight Champion, a title he earned after defeating his fellow Filipino Eric Kelly at “ONE: Return of Warriors” at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 6, 2013, Banario lost the belt to Koji Oishi at “ONE: Rise to Power” at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I have no problem if it’s a big name or a small name in this division,” Banario stated. “What’s important is that I stay active and improve my rankings.”
According to Banario, if he can defeat Pang in convincing fashion, it will be the biggest triumph of his pristine run as a lightweight. The former ONE Featherweight Champion said, “Ever since I moved up to lightweight, I feel so much stronger.”
“This is my natural fighting weight,” Banario added. “I am a lightweight fighter. I just feel reinvigorated. My punches and kicks are powerful, my body is sturdy, and my mind is strong.”
The main objective of Banario now is to elevate his status in the lightweight class rankings considering ONE Championship housing high-caliber lightweights such as Pang, Eduard Folayang, Ev Ting, Amir Khan, Timofey Nastyukhin, Ariel Sexton and Shinya Aoki. Here is a short interview with Banario days after “ONE: Kings of Destiny”: