Fighting out of Benguet, Philippines, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, owes much of his current success to his team called Team Lakay. Recognized as the top mixed martial arts camp in Asia today, the team is based in Baguio City.
“I am very grateful to have a team like Team Lakay,” Banario stated. “I am happy to be part of it in making history. The good thing about our team is that we are like brothers.”
“We respect each other and we help each other in so many ways,” the Benguet native added. “We work as a team and as a family. We are one.”
Banario is a former ONE Featherweight World Champion. He is Team Lakay’s first ever world champion and ONE Championship’s first Filipino world champion.
Team Lakay has produced more world champions after Banario. Currently, the team has two ONE Championship world champions, namely reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29, and reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30.
In Banario’s most recent outing, which was at “ONE: Heroes of Honor” on April 20, 2018 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, he faced Adrian “The Hunter” Pang, 40, of Australia and Papua New Guinea in the lightweight division. The bout ended in split decision in favor of the Team Lakay fighter.
A victory over a top contender like Pang elevated Banario closer to a lightweight world title opportunity. However, the former ONE Featherweight World Champion is not putting that pressure on himself as he vows to do his best to clinch another big win.
“There have been a lot of ups and downs throughout my career but I am still here,” Banario pointed out. “I am still persevering. I am still giving it my all. Win or lose, I will give my best when I step into the ring.”
Now, Banario is looking to have a few more proud moments. On September 8, 2018, he will compete in the lightweight division at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon” in Shanghai, China against Amir Khan, 23, of Singapore.
Both Banario and Khan have been showcasing predominantly stand-up skills and preferring to keep the bout on the feet in the ONE Championship cage. For the Team Lakay fighter, the contest will play out in entertaining fashion.
“I see the fight as an exciting fight because we are both strikers,” Banario gauged. “I also see it that I am winning this fight.”
Watch the bout between Banario and Pang here: