Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario seeks to erase the memory of a heartbreaking defeat as he shares the ONE Circle with the deadly knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin in the semi-finals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix
Both men are set to collide on the undercard of ONE: DAWN OF HEROES which takes place at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on Friday, 2 August.
The winner will be facing Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev in the finals of the aforementioned eight-man tournament, which will put them one win away for the shot at the ONE Lightweight crown.
Banario is coming off a first-round TKO loss at the hands of undefeated American Lowen Tynanes at ONE: HERO’S ASCENT last January, which stopped his quest to build another winning streak
The 29-year-old Baguio City resident sees his three-round lightweight meeting against Nastyukhin as an opportunity to come closer to his dream of collecting another gold-plated strap and at the same time reinsert his name into the winner’s column.
“This is the perfect opportunity for me to bounce back. I want to show to everyone that I am not done yet, that I am still one of the best in the lightweight division and I have a lot more to offer in my career,” said Banario.
“I am just so thankful to ONE Championship for this opportunity. I really want to win this fight. I want to be a champion again and that’s why I’ll do everything ‘til I reach the top,” he added. “We did not start on a bright note this year and I don’t want to lose again – especially that I’ll be competing again in front of my countrymen.” .
Banario stressed that he has made some crucial adjustments to his preparation as he desires to be on the winning track once again.
“Right now it’s all about conditioning, then touching on my overall game. I think you’ll see all the adjustments on August,” said Banario.
Satisfied with the outcome of his training camp so far with three more weeks to go, Banario believes that his forthcoming contest with Nastyukhin will be having a result in his favor.
“We have a great environment in the gym. Everyone’s helping each other out. We’re all focused. We take our assignments seriously, especially the people competing in August.”
With the amount of time and energy that he has put into training, Banario is driven to redeem his status as one of the most exciting lightweights in the world.
“Lightweight division is one of the best divisions in ONE Championship, and I have no plans of wasting this opportunity, especially since I’m just two wins away from a World Title shot once again.”