SINGAPORE: Former featherweight champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario begins his campaign to redeem his crown when he battles Mongolian fighter Narantungalag Jadambaa in One Fighting Championship Honor and Glory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium here.
Banario, 23, lost his title to Koji Oishi of Japan via technical knockout on May 30, 2013 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. He was beaten again by the Japanese in their December 6, 2013, rematch at same venue.
After six months of preparation, the Team Lakay standout sees the non-title bout against Jadambaa as the beginning of his journey to redemption.
“The loss has been a difficult pill to swallow, but now I have the opportunity to get back to winning ways,” Banario told The Manila Times in an interview. “My opponent is very experienced and have faced top guys so it is an interesting challenge for me.”
“I want to rise up to the occasion and prove that I am winner.”
Banario, who will have fellow Filipino fighter Eduard Folayang in his corner, holds an 8-3 win-loss card. Banario beefed up his striking arsenal with his reinvented wrestling and ground skills.
“I’m pretty sure Banario will win the fight. I believe in him,” said Folayang, who recently defeated Korean-Japanese fighter Kotetsu Boku in the recent edition of One FC in Manila on May 2, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jadambaa, who also carries an 8-3 win-loss card, is known for his aggressive kickboxing prowess that was instrumental to his triumph against the likes of Akihiro Gono, Adrian Pang and Yul Chul Nam.
In addition to his brutal kicks and punches, the 38-year-old Mongolian fighter is also adept in submission techniques.
Banario said he is ready for a head-on collision against Jadambaa.
“I trained so hard particularly in my counter-punching and my ground game. I’m confident I can win this fight. This is my first step to winning back my world title again.”
In the main event, former Bellator welterweight champion and Olympian wrestler Ben Askren (12-0 win-loss record) will make his debut in One FC against Bakhtiyar Abbasov of Azerbaijan (11-2).
The other scheduled bouts are: Vincent Latoel of The Netherlands vs. Eddie Ng of Hong Kong (lightweight), Caros Fodor of United States vs. Willy Ni of The Netherlands (lightweight), Bruno Pucci of Brazil vs. Major Overall of US (featherweight), Ji Xian of China vs. Australian-Vietnamese Thanh Vu (bantamweight) Chi Lewis Parry of United Kingdom vs. Alain Ngalani of Repub;ic of Cameroon (heavyweight) and Radeem Rahman of Singapore vs. Raymond Tan of Malaysia (bantamweight).