THE ROCK. Honorio Banario is looking to end the Filipinos' losing streak in MMA in is fight vs Koji Oisih. Photo from One FCSINGAPORE – It’s been a rough year for Filipino mixed martial arts to say the least. The opportunities have been plentiful, but the wins are scarce. One man, Honorio “The Rock” Banario, looks to put an end to the drought against a familiar foe, Koji Oishi, the same man who took his title away.
The last time the two fighters met at the center of the cage was back in May at the main event of One FC 9: Rise to Power at the MOA Arena. Banario stood tall against his wily Japanese counterpart in front of throngs of screaming Pinoy MMA fans.
Unfortunately for Banario, it just simply wasn’t his night. Oishi ended the contest at 1:45 of Round 2 with a series of vicious strikes as referee Yuji Shimada called a halt. Oishi became the new Featherweight champion and sent Banario back to the drawing board.
Eric Kelly, Kevin Belingon, Rene Catalan, Brandon Vera, Mark Munoz, Mark Streigl and even Banario himself have all contributed to the extended losing streak that Filipino MMA fighters are on right now.
This time, Banario and Oishi go at it once again on December 6, back in the same MOA Arena where it all went down the first time. In an event aptly named One FC: Moment of Truth, Banario seeks to avenge his loss and prove to himself and to the whole world what kind of fighter he is.
Banario first captured the One FC belt back in an all-Filipino title match in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia against compatriot Eric “The Natural” Kelly. Banario dominated the fight with his measured striking and a good, solid gameplan. Kelly was never able to get anything off and as a result, it allowed Banario to cautiously make it to the end of the fight and crowned the new champion.
Banario became the first ever One FC Featherweight Champion and the Philippines’ first world champion in mixed martial arts – an amazing feat, one that will forever be in the books.
The eldest of three highly-talented fighting brothers, Honorio is a budding star with huge upside. His skills are solid and coupled with his unparalleled work ethic, he’s a tough man to be in the cage against. Losing to Oishi only helped him with valuable experience.
“I was winning the first bout. Now is my time to get back my title. Oishi, I am coming for you!” said Banario, in a challenge to the now defending Featherweight champion Koji Oishi.