August 24, 2013

Continuing my un petit side-career in the MMA beat.

My Q and A piece with former ONE FC featherweight champ Honorio Banario can now be read on Smile Mag, but only if you fly on any of the Cebu Pacific airlines.Since, well, it’s their in-flight mag. 

Hope the champ regains his belt soon. We’re all rooting for ya, lakay!


One-on-one with mixed martial arts champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario


Never doubt Honorio Banario’s fighting spirit. En route to his first title defense and at One Fighting Championship’s “Rise to Power” event in June, the 23-year-old fighter from Mankayan, Benguet, had already gathered an impressive roster of wins for his career in mixed martial arts (MMA).

Previously, he’d won the Universal Reality Combat Championship lightweight belt by handing Angelito “The Saint” Manguray, a grizzled, 40-year-old, tough-as-nails veteran, the first loss of his professional career at URCC 19. At One FC’s “Return of Warriors” in Kuala Lumpur, the fighter dubbed “The Rock” defeated fellow Pinoy Eric Kelly via TKO to become the first One FC Featherweight Champion. Not bad for a guy who’s only been training and fighting in MMA for just over three years.

An MMA fighter is a multi-disciplinary athlete who learns to use various techniques from different martial arts. Wrestlers and jiu-jitsu practitioners cross-train in kickboxing or karate, or boxers and strikers might opt to study judo, wrestling, or the Russian art of sambo. Banario came to MMA through mandatory defense classes as a Criminology major at the Cordillera Career Development College. He was all set for a career in law enforcement but when his teachers taught the basics of muay thai, judo, wushu and boxing, he loved it so much he reconsidered his plans for joining the police force. Hooked, Banario eventually took MMA more seriously and started training with Team Lakay of Baguio City. The fighter’s camp, whose fighting roots are derived from the Chinese martial style of wushu, had already nurtured other local MMA greats.

The rest of it is online at the CEBU PAC SMILE MAG site. 


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