For Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 30, of Mankayan, Benguet, Philippines, 2020 has been an eventful year. While almost everything froze due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Igorot mixed martial artist earned his ninth ONE Championship win and enjoyed his time with his newborn son Stone Banario.
“I’m working on a few things, adding a few skills and techniques and working on my power,” Honorio shared. “I want to end fights quicker. I want to bring back my fire. Fans can expect a more explosive and exciting Honorio Banario next year.”
Training at Training at Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Honorio is a former ONE Featherweight World Champion. Almost all of his teammates who are currently signed with ONE Championship had at least one fight in 2020 but not all of them won.
“I think the string of losses for our team is just another roadblock to greatness,” Honorio noted. “We always learn from our mistakes and come back stronger. I’m very proud of our team.”
“We may not have the best gym, the best equipment but we have each other,” Honorio said of Team Lakay. “I think that’s more than enough. We’re going to bounce back in a big way next year.”
After three consecutive losses in 2019, Honorio bounced back at “ONE: King of the Jungle” on February 28, 2020 in Singapore. He defeated Shannon “One Shin” Wiratchai, 32, of Thailand via split decision.
“My biggest accomplishment this year is returning to the winning track in my career also watching my son grow,” Honorio shared. “Just seeing him crawl and seeing him start to walk and speak, it’s a great feeling and it makes me happy.”
“I think the biggest lesson I learned, especially in this pandemic, is to stay healthy physically, mentally and spiritually,” Honorio continued. “Watching out for your family’s health and staying positive in times of crisis.”
Winning at “ONE: King of the Jungle” improved Honorio’s professional MMA record to 15 wins and 10 losses and he looking forward to improving it even further in 2021. He said, “Next year, I want to be more productive, continue winning and stay strong.”
“There are a lot of tough challenges waiting for me in my career, a lot of strong opponents,” the Igorot MMA fighter continued. “I want to be ready to face them and keep coming out on the winning end.”
After a short stint at lightweight, Honorio has since returned to featherweight. He is the inaugural ONE Featherweight World Champion and the first ever Filipino champion in an international MMA promotion.
“For me, I don’t have any expected opponent to face next year,” Honorio said. “I’ll be ready for who is in front of me. My goal is to get the belt so I’ll be ready for anyone.”