For the first time since 2015, Filipino lightweight contender Honorio “The Rock” Banario found himself on the losing end.
At ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON this past 8 September in Shanghai, China, Banario fell victim to the superior grappling wheelhouse of Singaporean mixed martial artist Amir Khan, losing via submission in the first round.
The heartbreaking defeat snapped a five-match winning streak for the Mankayan, Benguet-native.
Furthermore, it pushes him back in the line of contenders for the ONE Lightweight World Championship, which is currently in the possession of two-division kingpin Martin Nguyen.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Banario, who had enjoyed his best run on the ONE Championship stage during his impressive winning streak.
“It’s tough,” Banario said. “I cannot help but feel like it was a wasted opportunity for me. It is a lesson learned, the hard way.”
More known for his knockout prowess, Evolve MMA’s Khan displayed high-level grappling against Banario, taking the Filipino martial artist down and fastening the rear-naked choke hold with just seconds left before the end of the round to notch the biggest win of his professional career.
In addition, it was just the second submission win on Khan’s impressive record.
The 28-year-old Banario, along with his Team Lakay teammates have shown marked improvement in the grappling department in their past performances, something that they had put a premium on especially when they began to reach new levels of success beginning in 2016.
With growing reputation of Team Lakay’s own brand of grappling, it made the loss even more painful for the former ONE Featherweight World Champion.
“This one stings quite a bit,” Banario admitted. “I would have rather lost via a decision, instead of losing because of grappling.”
It is back to the drawing board for the Team Lakay standout, who vows to bounce back and come back stronger.
“I’m going to make up for this loss in my next assignment. I’m going to bounce back for from this,” Banario said.
Banario will once again need to work his way back up in the ladder of contenders for the ONE Lightweight World Championship.
“I plan to come back stronger and prove that I’m still a top contender in the ONE Championship lightweight division,” he expressed.