Honorio Banario Brims With Motivation After Yielding To Shinya Aoki In Tokyo

Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario might have lost his most recent bout inside the ONE Circle, but it only ignited his desire to become a more well-rounded competitor in the world of mixed martial arts.

Banario suffered his third-straight loss this 2019, yielding to former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki via first-round submission in the co-main event of the second part ONE: CENTURY at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo last Sunday, 13 October.

The 30-year-old Mankayan, Benguet native came fully prepared in his match with Aoki, but his Japanese opponent imposed his intentions right away, bringing the match on the mat and finish the match with a tight D’Arce choke that forced the Filipino warrior to raise the white flag in just 54 seconds of the match.

Despite tasting the 10th defeat of his flourishing mixed martial arts stint, Banario has nothing but respect for Aoki, who picked up his first win since losing his ONE Lightweight crown to current champ and ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee.

“I respect and admire Aoki a lot because he’s a great competitor. I know we both came prepared. I felt really good, I came in light and in good shape but he never gave me a chance, he was certainly better at that night,” Banario said. 

“My game plan was simple, try to get that knockout. I was timing him so I can get my momentum, but he went for the takedown and really imposed his will.”

Despite disappointed, Banario shared that he is in high spirits at the moment and was still proud of himself that he fought Aoki in front of his countrymen with his one hundred percent and ready to give his everything.

Banario also stressed that he has already accepted the outcome of his bout against Aoki and admitted that his heartbreaking setback just boosts his motivation more to improve and to become a better mixed martial artist.

“Even though I did not get the win, I’m proud of myself that I competed in the biggest event of ONE in front of a Japanese legend. Sadly, he’s just really good at what he does,” Banario stated. 

“2019 was bad for me, but I just have to keep on learning. Last Sunday was a good eye-opener, seeing our difference in the ground.

Although his back is against the wall, Banario is still gazing at the bright side of the situation and promises a new and improved version of himself this coming 2020.

“Now I just want to go home and rest with my family. Then it’s back to the drawing board with my team to train non-stop,” Banario said. 

“This is a big lesson and I am confident that I can come back stronger after this. I’ll take my game to the next level and you will be seeing a different “The Rock” in my next outing on the ONE Championship stage.”

Author: Fight Game Asia

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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