Since losing five straight bouts, former ONE featherweight champion Honorio Banario strung together an astonishing five successive victories, effectively turning his fortunes around.
On September 8, the former champion is due to make his cage return when he faces off against Singaporean standout Amir Khan in the co-main event of ONE: Beyond the Horizon in Shanghai.
Banario said keeping a positive mind helped him overcome his struggles.
“As a martial artist, it is very important to recreate myself,” he said. “Everyone was doubting me. It was very hard to keep away from the negativity. But true champions take the negatives and turn them into positives.”
“True champions draw strength from defeat. It’s not how hard you fall, but the manner in which you rise again,” he said.
Helping his cause was his improved grappling skills, which used to be his weakness.
“Everyone knows my weakness has always been grappling, but that’s what we do, we focus on plugging those holes,” said Banario.
“I have been travelling all over the Philippines, visiting various gyms, especially in Manila, working on my wrestling and grappling. Compared to maybe three years ago, my grappling right now is much smoother than before. I am a more complete MMA fighter.”
A win over a top contender such as Khan could elevate Banario closer to a world lightweight title opportunity.
With both competitors known for their superb stand-up skills and preferring to keep the bout on the feet, Banario believes that the contest will play out in entertaining fashion.
“I see the fight as an exciting fight because we are both strikers,” he said. “I also see it that I am winning this fight.”
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.