ONE Championship: Honorio Banario Unfazed With Last-Minute Replacement Of Opponent
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 22, 2018 03:12 PM
“What I want is to step inside the cage. I want to redeem myself as soon as possible because I didn't get a favorable outcome in my last outing. I’m just happy that Rahul Raju stepped in to take this bout on short notice.” - Honorio Banario
A last-minute replacement of an opponent could leave some martial artists rattled and unprepared. However, in the case of Team Lakay's Honorio Banario, he is just relieved that someone is willing to face him on short notice.
The former ONE Featherweight World Champion was originally scheduled to meet ONE Warrior Series alumnus “Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Park in a lightweight bout at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS on Friday, 23 November at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
However, the South Korean athlete failed to secure a medical clearance days before the event, which forced ONE Championship to look for a new opponent to fill in for Park.
ONE Championship officials found a late replacement in Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju, who accepted the offer to step in for Park to battle the Filipino dynamo in a 79-kilogram catch weight contest.
It was a welcome development for Banario, who is raring to get back inside the cage following a first-round submission defeat at the hands of Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON this past September.
"All I want is to compete,” the 29-year-old native of Mankayan, Benguet says.
“What I want is to step inside the cage. I want to redeem myself as soon as possible because I didn't get a favorable outcome in my last outing. I’m just happy that Rahul Raju stepped in to take this bout on short notice.”
A change of opponent also means a change of strategy, but that will not be a problem for Banario.
According to “The Rock,” he has already seen a few weaknesses in Raju's skill set and believes he could exploit them in the upcoming bout on Friday.
"Raju is a tough athlete, but I see flaws in his game,” he explains. “I do not want to underestimate him because that was the mistake I made in my last bout.”
Ecstatic for the opportunity to get back to his winning ways, Banario vows to leave the Mall Of Asia Arena with his hand raised.
"I won't predict how the contest will end, but I am confident of getting a victory on Friday," he says.