Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, of Mankayan, Benguet, Philippines thought of giving up at one point in his career. But his promising mixed martial arts continued, thanks to his mentor Mark Sangiao, the Team Lakay founder and head coach.
“I’m grateful to my team, especially coach Mark [Sangiao],” Banario said in an interview with ONE Championship. “He never lost faith in me even when I kept losing. My team gave me confidence when there was no reason to be confident. Because of that, I was able to rise above and conquer my situation.”
Banario suffered five consecutive losses from 2013 to 2015. But he redeemed himself in 2016 and he is now riding a five-bout winning streak.
“I will never stop believing though because my team will never stop believing,” Banario said of Team Lakay. “My team stands right there beside me, literally drilling with me every day. They push me harder even at my lowest and their voice is constantly in my ear.”
“They remind me every day not to lose hope, that I’m lucky to be doing what I love,” Banario added. “It helps me realize that I am capable of so much more than I think.”
After now winning five bouts in a row, Banario has successfully authored a career resurgence. He has made a complete 180 degree turn for the better.
On September 8, 2018, Banario is returning to action when ONE Championship visits the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China for “ONE: Beyond the Horizon.” He will face top lightweight contender Amir Khan, 28, of Singapore in a three round contest.
Banario is the first to admit his next bout will be the toughest test in his career. Going for his sixth straight victory, he is knocking on the door of the featherweight elite.
A couple more solid performances and Banario could find himself on the cusp of another title shot. Humble in both victory and defeat, he says it is all due to the support he has received from his team.
Meanwhile, watch one of Banario’s previous ONE Championship bouts here: