If Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, wins at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon,” it will be his sixth win in a row. The former ONE Featherweight World Champion could become position himself next in line for a crack at gold, but so is his Team Lakay teammate and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34.
Back when Folayang ruled ONE Championship’s lightweight division from 2016 to 2017, Banario was already making his way up the ranks. When the idea of a potential showdown against Folayang for the world title came up, Banario quickly shot it down.
“That question keeps coming up,” Banario commented. “Why would I go up against someone who I consider to be my family? We already test each other all the time during practice. I believe there’s no need for us to go against each other inside the ring or the cage.”
Today, Banario’s stance has not budged, not even a bit. With his streak and Folayang’s two-match winning roll of his own, the two Team Lakay lightweight stars are projected for another shot at the ONE Lightweight World Championship.
“If ONE Championship says that I will have to face Eduard, I still wouldn’t fight him,” Banario said. “I look up to him and respect him a lot. He’s one of my teammates, and he has helped me a lot to get to where I am today. I would not be here without his help and his guidance.”
A contest between two of the Philippines’ top mixed martial arts heroes is definitely something that fans would love to see, but for Banario, being on opposite ends of the battlefield is non-negotiable. Unwilling to compete against Folayang, Banario once again echoed just how close-knit things are at Team Lakay.
“I won’t fight him,” Banario declared, referring to Folayang. “We are brothers, and I know that we will each have our own time with the ONE Lightweight World Championship.”
On September 8, 2018, Banario will compete in ONE Championship for the 14th time, facing Amir Khan, 23, of Singapore at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon” at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China in the lightweight division. On September 5, 2018, they had their face-off at the CHAR Bar & Grill located at Level 30 of the Indigo Hotel in Shanghai, which was attended by ONE Championship’s chairman in China Hua Fung Teh.
Meanwhile, watch Banario’s most recent ONE Championship bout here: