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Mixed Martial Arts

Honorio Banario looks to earn ONE title shot in 2021

Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario is looking to embark on another run at the ONE World Title this year.

The 31-year-old feels reenergized and extra motivated to build on his sole victory in 2020 — a close split decision against fellow top featherweight Shannon Wiratchai of Thailand.

After spending the holidays with close family, and helping out Filipinos in need with his brethren at Team Lakay, Banario wants to tell fans to expect an epic resurgence for the Philippines’ premier martial arts troupe.

“New Year with my family was very fulfilling. It was my second New Year celebration with my son and wife. We spent it in our province with our loved ones,” said Banario.

“I met with the team before New Year’s Eve, and we spent the end of 2020 giving out aid to people in need. Coach Mark [Sangiao] and the team agreed to all do a small donation program. There are so many people out there who had a rough year, who had to go through the pandemic, through floods and calamity, and endured days of hunger. The very least we could do was help out in our own little way,” he continued.

“This year, the team is very motivated to bounce back as we adapt ourselves and our training methodologies to the ‘new normal.’ We are all reinvigorated and fired up to return to our dominance in the Circle.”

Banario was one of the few bright spots for Team Lakay in 2020. The team suffered a series of painful setbacks as former champions Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon, as well as rising star Lito Adiwang all experienced defeat late in the year.

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The last title shot Banario received was back in December 6, 2013 that saw him fall to Koji Oishi in a rematch held in Manila. Since then, his career has gone through ups and downs.

Banario wants nothing more than to return to his former glory and to wear the gold around his waist again.

“I want to fight more in 2021, and re-establish myself as a top fighter in my division. Hopefully, I can claw my way back up to a title shot by the end of the year. Of course, my other wish is to be healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. I wish that for all, not just for myself,” said a determined Banario.

“I really want to become a champion and hold that belt again. To do that, I have to stay strong in challenging times and constantly move forward to pursue my dreams. That goes for the rest of the team also. We will prove once again that here at Team Lakay, champions are not born, they are made.”

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