Honorio Banario Confident He’ll Win ‘All Out War’ With Shannon Wiratchai
Former ONE featherweight world champion Honorio Banario is set to return to the ONE Circle against Thailand’s Shannon Wiratchai, in a featherweight contest at ONE: King Of The Jungle.
Both Honorio and Wiratchai will moving down from lightweight to featherweight for their showdown. For Banario, he will be looking to start the new year with a victory, having come just short in three attempts to get the win in 2019. But ‘The Rock’ has confidence in his preparation and predicts his clash with ‘One Shin’ will be an ‘all-out war’.
“I know that Shannon has prepared really well for this match, and I am confident that my training is also not lacking, so this should be an all-out war. We are both looking to rebound, so we will see just who is hungrier to get that victory,” Banario told ONE Championship.
“We’ve been training since our last match in October. I am ready to compete anytime because I never stopped training. I feel like I will be in my best condition come fight night, so expect 100 percent from me when I compete.”
Banario said we can expect to see a more complete athlete, come fight night and acknowledged Wiratchai’s ability to knockout his opponents.
“I’m working on improving some of my techniques and adding onto them, so we’ll have a more complete arsenal when we take on Shannon. Hopefully, I can implement them properly in our match.
“He’s a finisher, for sure, with most of his wins not reaching the scorecards. I think he has a powerful right hook that I have to really watch out for. I think I’m a bit better at grappling than he is, so I surely need to be careful of that knockout power,” Banario admitted.
With his background of wushu and under the guidance of the Philippines’ leading mixed martial arts coach, Mark Sangiao, Banario believes that he has an edge over Wiratchai, in terms of their stand up games.
“I think my striking is more finely tuned than his, so I think that’s where I hope to find a hole in his game. It’s difficult to assume his weaknesses because chances are he has already improved enough to overcome them. However, the best way to see where to attack him is when we are face-to-face in the Circle, so hopefully, we can find a hole during the match.
“I think whoever takes better advantage of their chance at a stoppage will get the victory here. It will surely be a fast-paced match-up, and while he may pose a difficult challenge as a southpaw, I believe we can overcome it. Being a southpaw is one of his advantages because I will have to constantly adjust to him throughout our match.”
While Banario is aware of the challenges his opponent brings to the table, he is also excited to move back to the division where he once reigned as the champion.
“This is my first match going back down to the featherweight division. Here, I am faster, more explosive, and the fans will surely enjoy an exciting match between two hungry veterans looking to make a statement to start the year.
“When I first competed at lightweight, I felt good because I was able to bring my power and speed up there and still felt light. However, after two years I dealt with injuries and I felt heavier even if I was in peak condition, so I decided to move back down to a more natural weight. Even before my last bout, I wanted to move to featherweight. However, I couldn’t pass on the chance to compete against a legend like Shinya [Aoki].”
Now back on familiar ground, Banario will try to reclaim his lost throne in the featherweight division, starting with a victory over Wiratchai.
“My reaction time is a bit later than I want. It’s a huge factor in my decision to move down. I believe that moving to featherweight will help bring the best out of me. It also motivates me to work even harder especially after competing in lightweight for quite a while. I can’t relax in my training.
“I just hope to win this one and keep on winning this year. I’m returning to my original weight division, and I want to continue to work my way back up the top.”
Honorio Banario faces Shannon Wiratchai on the Lead Card at ONE: King Of The Jungle, which goes down on February 28th, inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.