'Refreshed' Honorio Banario excited to prove he's a top lightweight contender
Santino Honasan on Apr 18, 2018 12:48 AM
"Iím very very excited to come back and fight, especially here in our country, and to challenge myself to a great opponent like Adrian Pang."
When Team Lakay lightweight contender Honorio 'The Rock' Banario steps into the cage at ONE Championship: Heroes of Honor at the Mall of Asia Arena Friday, April 20th it'll be his first time to do so in roughly a year...364 days to be exact.
Banario last outing, a second-round knockout win over Jaroslav Jartim, was back in April 21, 2017, also at the MoA Arena.
As it turns out, Banario's lengthy absence was due to an injury, and it needed half a year to recover.
"May injury ako last year, at least hindi naman gaano ka-lala, pero kailangan ko i-rest kasi yung parts ng katawan ko na na-injure is yung usually na lagi kong ginagamit, so kailangan yung total rest, so I rested it for six months, and I just started training last December until now, then strengthening four months prior to the fight." Banario said during the pre-fight press conference for ONE: Heroes of Honor.
Aside from getting his injuries healed up, Banario adds that the time off has also helped take care of his other aches and pains.
"Parang yung mga wear and tear ng muscle ko, na-repair din, so at least parang maganda yung katawan ulit,"
"Parang na-refresh, so expect na malakas ulit ako sa laban and in the future fights." Banario added.
On Friday, Banario finally makes his long awaited return to the cage against hard-hitting Australian Adrian Pang, and the 28-year old Baguio native couldn't be more eager to get back in the cage.
"I’m very very excited to come back and fight, especially here in our country, and to challenge myself to a great opponent like Adrian Pang."
For Banario, taking on a tough test like Pang will help solidify his position as a top guy in ONE Championship's lightweight division.
As it stands, Banario is already riding a four-fight winning streak, and a win over a guy like Pang will no doubt add to his stock.
"I’m very happy na they gave him as my opponent, kasi it’s a challenge for me to train hard and answer the question in my mind, if I am a top contender as a lightweight,"
"I need to fight this great athlete and surpass him and win the fight so that I can call myself a top, world class lightweight athlete." Banario added.