Honorio Banario determined to prove worth against ONE’s top lightweights
MANILA, Philippines—Honorio Banario is slowly making a name for himself in the lightweight division of ONE Championship and he’s taking every opportunity to put himself at the pedestal of that stacked division.
The promotion’s inaugural World featherweight division had a stellar record in his past seven fights going 6-1 with his lone loss against title contender Amir Khan back in September of 2018.
Banario, however, ended his 2018 with a unanimous decision win over Rahul Raju on November 23 and he hopes to use that victory as a springboard to a prosperous showing in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.
“I learned a lot in 2018 and I’m going to learn a lot more this 2019,” said Banario. “I think the biggest lesson for me is to continue to stay hungry to learn, and to achieve more.”
Banario will compete against seven top lightweights in the division that is currently under the rule of Team Lakay teammate Eduard Folayang.
The step-ladder tournament that features eight fighters will flesh out the contenders and the winner of the whole event will get a crack at the ONE World lightweight title.
Banario (14-7) already tasted championship gold but his reign atop the 155-lb division lasted just around four months after he lost to Koji Oishi 1:45 into the second round of their May 2013 fight.
“I plan to show that I am one of the best lightweights in the promotion, and there’s a lot of buzz surrounding our division because of the tournament,” said Banario. “And because there’s a new crop of athletes who joined ONE there’s a lot of pressure to perform.”
A part of that group of newcomers to the promotion is former UFC World lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez who’s also in the Lightweight Grand Prix.
“I would be happy to put on a show for the fans against anyone ONE puts me in the cage with,” said Banario. “It doesn’t’ matter, I am confident in myself and my team. Through hard work we will achieve great things.”
As for a potential fight with Folayang, Banario said he’s not after his teammate and rather he’d like to challenge himself.
“It is a great way to really see who is the best in the division, apart from my brother Eduard Folayang who’s the World champion,” said Banario. “I am definitely aiming to be the Grand Prix tournament champion. That’s my number one goal in 2019.”
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