Honorio “The Rock” Banario is determined to put on a spectacular show for the Filipino fans in Manila this Friday, 2 August – no matter the opponent he is up against.
The former ONE Featherweight World Champion was scheduled to face Timofey Nastyukhin at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES, but an injury to the Russian means he will now meet “Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Park at the Mall of Asia Arena instead.
Banario only found out the identity of his new opponent two weeks ago after the South Korean warrior competed at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY, but he reveals his intense training meant he is ready to face anyone.
“For me, it wasn’t much of an adjustment,” the Filipino says.
“I have competed with some high-caliber fighters, and in preparing for Nastyukhin, my training was really hard. When I was told that he was injured, I still continued my training to stay ready.”
PATH TO GREATNESS Before Honorio 'The Rock' Banario's lightweight thriller against ONE Warrior Series alumnus Dae Sung Park on 2 August, relive all the epic moments from his journey to the : Manila | 2 August | 5PM | ONE: DAWN OF HEROES: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/oneheroes19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, July 27, 2019
According to his training partners, his work at Team Lakay in Baguio City has paid off.
ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio expects his friend to shine in front of his home crowd with his improved skills, and Banario agrees.
“I became explosive and more powerful, so I can defend against my opponent even if he takes me down.
“I have made my weaknesses strong by training, and sharpened all aspects of my game – I am a more complete athlete now.”
“The Rock” will need to be at his best to defeat Park. Although he is new to ONE Championship, he has already proven himself as a dangerous finisher.
On 16 July, Banario watched as Park asserted his mastery over his fellow ONE Warrior Series contract winner Kimihiro Eto and knocked him out in the second round of their rematch.
Honorio 'The Rock' Banario is ready to ROCK Manila on 2 August! : Manila | 2 August | 5PM | ONE: DAWN OF HEROES: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/oneheroes19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, July 24, 2019
“Crazy Dog’s” left high kick and cross were dangerous weapons as he finished his Japanese rival for the second time in spectacular fashion, but the man from Benguet is not worried. As long as he has someone to battle in front of his compatriots, he will be a happy man.
“I’m just glad that he’s safe and he isn’t injured, so he’ll be in good condition when we compete against each other,” the 29-year-old says.
“Nastyukhin is an orthodox fighter, while Park is a southpaw, so that’s pretty much what we added in our training. I think we can still use our game plan against Nastyukhin. Our match is in mixed martial arts, so it will be unpredictable – if my game plan doesn’t work, then we’ll have to adapt.
“We have to be ready for anything, because there are times that the game plan works, and times when it doesn’t, so the most important thing for a fighter is to be able to adjust depending on the situation.”
“Crazy Dog” may have won praise for his heavy striking, but Banario believes it is just as important to prepare for his grappling, too.
The Team Macho representative scored two of his most high-profile wins by knockout, but he has used his extensive background in freestyle wrestling to control and dominate many of the other bouts he has won.
Who will make their move up the lightweight ladder when Honorio 'The Rock' Banario and Dae Sung Park collide this Friday?: Manila | 2 August | 5PM | ONE: DAWN OF HEROES: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/oneheroes19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, July 29, 2019
However, “The Rock” predicts he will have an answer for everything that comes his way on Friday night, and the fans will be on their feet when these two exciting lightweights clash on the prelims of ONE: DAWN OF HEROES.
“I think he’s really aggressive. I think I have to avoid his takedowns, because he does have a decent ground game. A southpaw’s punches are also quite different, so I think I’ll have to watch out against them,” Banario adds.
“I think my striking will be an edge, and my wrestling is not bad as well. I will combine those two by timing them right to make sure that I can give the fans a show.
“People have to watch out for this because DSP is an aggressive and entertaining fighter.
“Meanwhile, I always make it a point to have entertaining fights, so this one will be no different. If the chance to stop him is there, I will take it. However, I’m sure that DSP is also watching out for it.”
Manila | 2 August | 7PM | DAWN OF HEROES | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneheroes19