ONE: Honorio Banario confident ahead of Shinya Aoki showdown
MANILA, Philippines—Honorio Banario is fighting arguably the biggest name of his career when he takes on Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in ONE: Century in Tokyo in October.
The inaugural ONE World featherweight champion is on a bit of slump, losing three of his last four fights but he’s confident he can turn things around despite facing a legend of the sport.
Helping Banario (14-9) in his preparation for the Oct. 13 bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan is former ONE World lightweight champion and Team Lakay brother Eduard Folayang.
“We all know the level he’s on but I believe that we can pull it off if we execute our game plan,” said Banario. “I see that he sometimes focus when he gets hit, so if we manage to execute our game plan, then we’ll have a chance.”
Folayang (21-8) fought Aoki (43-9) twice and the two martial artists split those matches both of which were for the lightweight title.
The 35-year-old Folayang said Banario has to establish a strong game plan in the first round and the second frame would eventually dictate the tempo of the match.
“If Honorio manages to get out of the first round and lands cleans shots, he’ll be able to get it,” said Folayang. “So far he’s prepared well, Honorio really wants this fight. It’s MMA you can never tell what’s going to happen.”
“You can’t say it will be one-sided because Honorio has knockout power as well.”
Banario, who holds five knockouts under his name, was surprised that he was called to take on Aoki in ONE’s biggest fight card of the year but he wasn’t someone to turn down an invitation.
“This is an opportunity to bounce back and face a legend of this sport,” said Banario. “I’ll definitely prepare for this and test my skills with Aoki.”
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