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Banario remains upbeat even after losing shot at lightweight Grand Prix

Honorio “The Rock” Banario remains laser-focused, even after missing the chance to compete in the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix. 

Banario was scheduled to face Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin in the semi-finals of the aforementioned eight-man tournament, but the Russian withdrew from his bracket after he suffered a knee injury.

Now Banario will be facing “Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Park at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES in Manila this coming 2 August at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“Before anything else, I’m wishing Timofey Nastyukhin for a fast recovery,” Banario said. “I admit, I’m at a loss. And I was hoping that they would find me a replacement for Timofey, but on the bright side I’m still competing and I’ll still be part of the Manila card.”

Park, on the other hand, is coming off a knockout win against Kimihiro Eto of Japan at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY last Friday, 12 July, and he is looking to make it four in a row in The Home Of Martial Arts.

Nevertheless, Banario is unfazed with the changes as he looks forward to putting on an impressive performance in his quest for redemption. 

“Regardless of the changes, there won’t be a change in my mindset,” Banario said. “I missed this opportunity but I know that I will be there, I just need to work harder and take it step by step.” 

Training intensively with less than three weeks to go before his return inside the ONE Circle, Banario believes he will still be facing high-level competition.

Park owns a 9-2 record and is one of the first athletes from Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series to make it to the main roster of ONE Championship.

In his latest outing, Park scored a dominant TKO win over his fellow ONE Warrior Series alumnus. 

"He is a good and complete fighter, but I think I have an edge in striking,” Banario said. 

“He also keeps on improving every time he steps in the ring, so I can’t really see a weakness in his game. I’ll just find out about it when we meet in the middle of the cage,” the 30-year old added. 

“There won’t be changes in my training. I’m still focused for all angles in this match, because like Nastyukhin, he’s a complete fighter.” 

Facing a promising athlete in the stacked 77.1-kilogram weight class, Banario is confident that an impressive win in Manila could give him the golden ticket to a shot at the ONE Lightweight World Title

“There are many possibilities in that match,” Banario said, “and that’s why I’ll do everything to give a good performance and get a win in front of my countrymen.” 

Topics: Honorio Banario , ONE: DAWN OF HEROES , Rich Franklin , Warrior Series
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