After battering his fellow Filipino fighter at ONE FC 5, Honorio “The Rock” Banario is up for another huge challenge when as he competes for the inaugural ONE FC featherweight championship on 6 October 2012 in Singapore.
Although his original opponent, Eric Kelly has been scratched due to other promotional responsibilities, Banario is still training hard because he knows that fighting for ONE FC belt is the biggest challenge in his pro MMA career to date.
Banario is one of those fighters from the very accomplished Team Lakay who will do everything just to get better everytime he steps inside the cage. He is a type of fighter who is ready to take some friendship aside to be the best in his division. He works hard at the gym, doesn’t drink liquor and he doesn’t smoke. In other words, this guy is a straight-edge fighter.
“The Rock” impressed a lot of fans at ONE FC 5 when he displayed his striking ability against Benibe. He was the agressor from the first round until he stopped Benibe in the third. His boxing has tremendously improved since his last fight. He utilized some combinations to make his offense more effective and dangerous against Benibe.
After Victor Cui announced that he will face Eric “The Natural” Kelly for the vacant featherweight belt in Singapore on October 6th, I saw in Banario’s eyes the excitement as well as the pressure on fighting another Filipino fighter who is as gifted and dangerous as himself. But unfortunately, Kelly is unable to fight Banario on October 6th.
If the Kelly vs. Banario happens in the future, there is no doubt that Banario will be the underdog for this fight.
If we will look at the quality of opponents that these two fighters have already beaten, Kelly, undoubtedly has crushed some of the best featherweights in the business, including his unanimous win over Bae Young Kwon, the guy who stamped a first-ever loss on Banario’s pro MMA career and his recent destruction over the former UFC lightweight champion, Jens “lil evil” Pulver at ONE FC 5. But if we take a look at their skills, I think both guys are equal, both of them possess a bomb on their hands. I think it will all go down to who has a better wrestling between these two amazing athletes.
One thing I really like about Banario is that even if he knows that he is an underdog, he uses this kind of circumstances to motivate himself to work harder to improve on those areas where he thinks he needs to develop.
He may not be the most agile, powerful and athletic fighter in his division, but I guarantee you, this 23-year-old warrior has a heart and spirit of a true champion. He has all the tools to become the king of his division.
Who do you think will be Banario’s opponent for the inaugural ONE FC featherweight belt?