Enjoying underdog status, Banario ready to shock world
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario does not mind coming in as an underdog when he takes on Timofey Nastyukhin in the semifinals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.
Both men will go toe-to-toe on the main card of ONE: DAWN OF HEROES, which is set for 2 August at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Though not many is convinced that Banario can pull off the upset against the favored Russian, the Mankayan, Benguet native remains upbeat that he can shock the world in the Philippines.
“I know that I am coming in as an underdog because Nastyukhin just keeps on winning against world class athletes. That only motivates me to train more,” said Banario.
“Expect me to come in more aggressive and more determined. I have the skills and the power as well so anything can happen on August 2. I’ll show that I am determined to make the finals and get the belt once again.”
Banario got his second shot at the tournament after his quarterfinals tormentor Lowen Tynanes pulled out because of an injury.
Knowing that opportunities like this might not swing his way anymore, the 29-year old is keen on making the most out of it, and it starts with excellent preparation.
“Training’s been going well, I am in very good shape and I am stronger mentally and physically,” said Banario.
“I realized a lot of things when I lost to Lowen and now I’m fixing it in training. I really want to bounce back and that’s why I’m really focused in this match.”
With less than three weeks away before his much-awaited showdown with Nastyukhin, Banario believes that his clash with the Russian star may not even reach the final bell.
He’s confident that at the end of the day, he’ll have his hands his raised.
“There are a lot of things that could happen in our match. It could go to a decision but I believe one of us will get knocked out,” said Banario.
“I’ll give everything to make sure that it’s my hands that will be raised after that fight.”