With COVID-19 pandemic delaying combat sports competitions, fighters are undoubtedly itching to fight again. I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the top athletes in ONE Championship, the Former ONE Featherweight Champion Honorio Banario.
The renowned Honorio Banario is the first Filipino fighter to hold a ONE Championship Gold. The hard-hitting warrior fighting out of Team Lakay Wushu had ups and downs in his career. With multiple fights in the lightweight division, Honorio Banario recently came back at featherweight and is looking to build another win streak.
Over the past weeks, the world’s largest martial arts organization came back with a series of NO SURRENDER events. With ONE Championship’s successful resurgence, we look forward to more fight cards being booked.
Have you been training and conditioning throughout this COVID-19 pandemic? Are there changes that you had to implement in your training?
“Yes of course I am. But it’s not the same as before where I can run and jog outside the gym. During these times, the government is strict. So, for me, it’s all gym training.”
You recently returned to the featherweight division, have you experienced any difficulties adjusting with making weight? Were you contented with your performance?
“Actually, when I came back to being a featherweight, I became strict on my diet and I always looked out on what I consume. In my fight with Wiratchai, I wasn’t contented with my performance because I knew I could do better. But even so, I’m happy with my win.”
Now that you’ve come back to being a featherweight, is your conditioning and body feeling great?
“Definitely. My body is slimmer now and I’m feeling more light on my feet.”
What are the lessons and important experiences that you grasped at your time in the lightweight division?
“In the lightweight division, I was not so strict about my diet because I just have to maintain my weight. But now, I am strict on my diet and I give more importance to the value of being disciplined. Also, I gained a lot of experience as I’ve fought with the top contenders in the lightweight division.”
Do you see yourself going back to the lightweight division, in the future?
“It depends, if in the future I can’t make weight in featherweight, then I could go back to lightweight.”
You’re just 30 years old and you still got lots of potential to reclaim the featherweight belt that you once held; what areas of your game do you think you should improve on?
“Well, I should really put more effort and double time on my training. I also need to learn and practice more on grappling and wrestling.”
If you could be your own matchmaker, who do you want to fight next?
“For now, I don’t want to choose. But in the future, I am really looking forward to get a shot to challenge the champion of the Featherweight division.”
Make sure to follow Honorio Banario across his social media platforms linked below.
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