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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Honorio Banario: The first Igorot/Filipino to become MMA World Champion

Photo Courtesy || One Championship & Honorio Banario

Cordillera - Martial arts has been a big contributor in helping a then  young Banario of Mankayan, Benguet fulfill his dream to become successful in life. 

The former One Featherweight World Champion entered the world of martials arts at the age of 16 to help him overcome his low self-esteem and prevent him from vice. 

Banario started his career in MMA when he earned wushu scholarship at the Cordillera Career Development College in La Trinidad. 

During that time, he won numerous wushu tournaments until he was invited by coach Mark Sangiao to join Team Lakay to improve his skills in Mixed Martial Arts. 

Entering Team Lakay was a right decision for Banario as he won his first six bouts in his early career. That opened him an opportunity to fight under ONE Championship promotion and during the process he has scored the biggest win of his career when he dethroned undefeated Eric Kelly. 

Defeating Kelly in the fourth round helped him become the inaugural ONE Featherweight World Champion.

The Igorot champion credits his toughness in the ring to growing in a farm where he helped his parent plant vegetables. 

Banario said in ONE, "When I was young, going to the farm was not mandatory. You could go if you wanted to, go home if you're tired, rest, and then go back again. It was like I was playing because I was young and I didn't see it as a responsibility for me."

"It was hard, but I always thought of it as playing, so that's why I never felt the pressure of going to the farm or saw it as hard work, and I actually enjoyed it instead," he added.



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