Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, of Mankayan, Benguet, Philippines found himself on the losing end for the first time since 2015. On September 8, 2018, the former ONE Featherweight World Champion lost to Amir Khan, 23, of Singapore in the lightweight division at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon” in Shanghai, China.
Losing via submission in the first round, Banario fell victim to the superior grappling wheelhouse of Khan, who is representing Evolve MMA. The heartbreaking defeat snapped a five-match winning streak for the former, who is representing Team Lakay.
Banario and his Team Lakay teammates have shown marked improvement in the grappling department in their past performances. This is something that they had put a premium on especially when they began to reach new levels of success beginning in 2016.
With the growing reputation of Team Lakay’s own brand of grappling, it made the loss even more painful for Banario. It is back to the drawing board for the former ONE Featherweight World Champion, who vows to bounce back and come back stronger.
“This one stings quite a bit,” Banario admitted. “I would have rather lost via a decision instead of losing because of grappling.”
Banario will once again need to work his way back up in the ladder of contenders for the ONE Lightweight World Championship, which was recently vacated by Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam, who is now reigning only as the ONE Featherweight World Champion. The Team Lakay fighter said, “I’m going to make up for this loss in my next assignment.”
“I’m going to bounce back for from this,” the Mankayan native continued. “I plan to come back stronger and prove that I’m still a top contender in the ONE Championship lightweight division.”
On November 23, 2018, Khan and Team Lakay fighter Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, will compete for the ONE Lightweight World Champion at “ONE: Conquest of Champions” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Meanwhile, here is a clip featuring Banario, Folayang and other Team Lakay fighters: