Honorio “The Rock” Banario wants to prove to the martial arts world that he is still a dangerous man in the featherweight division.
Banario returns to the division he once dominated when he takes on Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE this Friday, 28 February, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“This is my first match going back down to the featherweight division,” Banario said.
“Here, I am faster, more explosive, and the fans will surely enjoy an exciting match between two hungry veterans looking to make a statement to start the year.”
The 30-year-old felt stuck in the lightweight division, a heavier weight class that featured athletes a lot bigger than him.
He has always considered a plan to move back down to featherweight, where he won the inaugural ONE Featherweight World Title, but he took one more chance when the opportunity came up to face the legendary Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki at ONE: CENTURY PART II last October.
The Mankayan, Benguet native suffered a first-round submission loss to the Japanese grappling wizard quickly – and that was the deciding factor to drop back down in weight.
“After two years, I dealt with injuries and I felt heavier even if I was in peak condition, so I decided to move back down to a more natural weight,” Banario said.
“Even before my last bout, I wanted to move to featherweight. However, I couldn’t pass on the chance to compete against a legend like Shinya (Aoki).”
“The Rock” believes the move to featherweight will truly showcase what he is capable of.
“I believe that moving to featherweight will help bring the best out of me. It also motivates me to work even harder, especially after competing in lightweight for quite a while. I can’t relax in my training.”
ONE Championship returns to The Lion City with ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE on 28 February at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Two more Filipinos take centerstage that night as Mark “Tyson” Fairtex Abelardo battles “Pretty Boy” Troy Worthen, and Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga takes on Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi all on the lead card.
The lead card begins at 5:30 PHT on ONE’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts, or the ONE Super App.
The main card starts at 8:30 PHT on ABS CBN S+A.