ONE Championship: Honorio Banario looks to showcase skills in ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 02, 2019 11:54 AM
"I am definitely aiming to be the Grand Prix tournament champion. Thatís my number one goal next year." - Honorio Banario
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio "The Rock" Banario is ready to make a huge splash in ONE Championship's stacked lightweight division this 2019.
Banario went on a five-bout unbeaten streak for two years before it was snapped by Singaporean sensation Amir Khan at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON last September when he lost by way of first-round submission.
"The Rock" ultimately concluded 2018 on a winning note, picking up a unanimous decision win over Rahul Raju at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS this past November.
Banario aims to muster all the lessons and experiences that he has had thus far and utilize it in his upcoming bouts.
"I learned a lot in 2018, and I’m hoping to learn a lot more and grow more this 2019. I think the biggest lesson for me is to continue to stay hungry to learn, and to achieve more," he said.
"The loss to Amir once again humbled me, and I was sent back on a path of learning. Improving my skills and getting in prime condition, as well as staying active and on my toes, is important to keep my edge.
"You can’t relax in this game, because things change rapidly all the time. It’s always evolving."
Banario is also keen on proving his worth in the highly-anticipated ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, which will be participated by the best athletes that the world and his division have to offer.
With the eagerness to test his mettle in the eight-man tourney, the 29-year-old native of Mankayan, Benguet is confident that he will leave a lasting impression.
"I plan to show that I am one of the best lightweights in the promotion. There is a lot of buzz surrounding our division because of the tournament, and because of the new crop of athletes who joined ONE. There is a lot of pressure to perform," Banario stated.
"I would be happy to put on a show for the fans against anyone ONE puts me in the cage with. It doesn’t matter to me. I am confident in myself and in my team. Through hard work, we will achieve great things."
The tournament winner would a guarantee a shot at the intricately-crafted ONE Lightweight World Title that is currently held by Banario's teammate Eduard Folayang.
However, Banario cites that the goal is not to come after Folayang's gold-plated strap, but to challenge himself and find out who's the second best in the talent-filled lightweight division.
"It is a great way to really see who is the best in the division, apart from my brother Eduard Folayang, who is the world champion," he stressed. "I am definitely aiming to be the Grand Prix tournament champion. That’s my number one goal next year."