Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, and Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, are two of the top fighters in the lightweight division of ONE Championship. Both training out of Team Lakay, they are sparring partners and former world champions.
Team Lakay is based in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines. It is home to several ONE Championship athletes including Banario, Folayang, Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, Danny “The King” Kingad, Gina “Conviction” Iniong, April Osenio, reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio.
Banario is a former ONE Featherweight World Champion. For him, having a sparring partner to consistently test his mettle is one of his greatest blessings as a martial artist.
Folayang, a former ONE Lightweight World Champion, gives Banario a rough workout. Being able to count on Folayang kept Banario evolving as a competitor and it showed each time the latter stepped into the cage.
“Whenever we spar, we really test each other’s limits,” Banario shared in an interview with ONE Championship. “I think for the both of us, it’s really a good thing that we’re able to have each other to really push it.”
“Imagine, Eduard has faced the best lightweights in ONE Championship, and he’s at the top of the stack,” Banario added. “He was the champion. He still is in my eyes. To be able to train with someone like that, it only makes me a better fighter.”
For Banario’s next bout, he is working with Folayang again. According to Banario, Folayang’s style that is the most difficult to overcome and it is something he himself is trying to develop in his own mindset.
While Banario has picked up a lot from Folayang, the former hopes that the latter continues to find equal value in having him as a sparring partner. Nonetheless, Banario remained humble as always and is extremely grateful for his opportunity to work with one of the best martial arts talents in the world.
“I think I learn more from him than he does from me,” Banario said. Currently, he is riding a five-bout win streak and is looking to score his sixth straight victory in his next bout, which will be the co-main event of “ONE: Beyond the Horizon.”
On September 8, 2018, Banario will face Amir Khan, 23, of Singapore at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon” at the Baoshan Sports Center in Shanghai, China. They will compete in the lightweight division.
Meanwhile, here is one of the previous ONE Championship bouts of Banario: