Representing Team Lakay, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, of Benguet, Philippines acknowledges that his grappling needs to be improved. Recently, he shared that the modifications he has made in his training is beginning to reap terrific results.
“I have made it a point to do what I can to improve my grappling,” Banario stated. “Everyone knows my weakness has always been grappling but that’s what we do. We focus on plugging those holes and erasing our weaknesses.”
Known as a tough fighter, Banario feels that he is moving towards becoming more of a complete martial artist. He revealed, “I have been travelling all over the Philippines, visiting various gyms, especially in Manila, working on my wrestling and grappling.”
“Compared to maybe three years ago, my grappling right now is much smoother than before,” Banario explained. “I am a more complete MMA fighter.”
Recently, Banario has experienced a career renaissance, putting together a five-bout winning streak after losing five in a row. After a turbulent period that saw him fall to new depths in his professional stint as a mixed martial artist, he pondered retiring from the sport altogether.
However, Banario was encouraged by friends and family to continue forging ahead. Chalking up to a simple martial arts philosophy of treating setbacks as setup for future triumphs, the Team Lakay veteran made a critical change by moving up to lightweight in 2016.
As a lightweight combatant, Banario has looked noticeably stronger and more confident every time he steps on the ONE Championship stage. He stated, “As a martial artist, it is very important to recreate myself.”
“Everyone was doubting me,” Banario added. “It was very hard to keep away from the negativity but true champions take the negatives and turn them into positives. True champions draw strength from defeat. It’s not how hard you fall, but the manner in which you rise again.”
In Banario’s most recent bout, which was at “ONE: Heroes of Honor” on April 20, 2018 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, he defeated Adrian “The Hunter” Pang, 40, of Australia and Papua New Guinea via split decision. On September 8, 2018, the Team Lakay fighter will return to the cage and face Amir Khan, 23, of Singapore.
Banario and Khan will compete at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon” in Shanghai, China. Meanwhile, watch the bout between Banario and Pang here: