On April 21, 2017, Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, of Mankayan, Benguet, Philippines knocked out Jaroslav Jartim, 25, of Prague, Czech Republic via punch at 1:31 of Round 2 at “ONE: Kings of Destiny” at the 20,000-capacity Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. It marked the Filipino fighter’s 12th win as a professional mixed martial artist.
“That win was so memorable,” Banario recalled. “It was all muscle memory because in training, the left hook is always my go-to move. It landed flush during the match. I went home with a big smile on my face.”
Showcasing another epic performance, Banario stopped Jaroslav with a single left hook. The latter was then a ONE Championship debutante.
Countering a body kick with a punching combination, Banario unleashed a left hook that landed square on Jartim’s jaw, turning the lights out immediately for the Czech contender. It was the Filipino fighter’s first real knockout victory since he stopped compatriot Andrew Benibe at “ONE: Pride of a Nation” in August 2012.
After scoring a one-punch knockout that was heard around the world, Banario will make his much-awaited return to action on April 20, 2018 at the Mall of Asia Arena. The former ONE Featherweight World Champion is slated to duke it out with Australian veteran Adrian “The Hunter” Pang on the undercard of “ONE: Heroes of Honor.”
“I am back!” Banario declared. “It’s exciting because this will be my first bout in 12 months. I miss everything about competing. It’s an honor because my comeback bout will happen on Philippine soil. Big things are ahead of me.”
Representing Team Lakay of Baguio City, Philippines, Banario never entertained the idea that his best days were behind him as after losing five bouts in a row from 2013 to 2015. Proving that he could bring back the glimmer in his professional career, Banario he won four consecutive matches, including two spectacular finishes in his last two outings.
“I feel as though the momentum is still on my side,” Banario declared. “I want to continue what I started.”
Here is a short interview with Banario days after defeating Jartim: