Aside from his opponent, little else changes forHonorio “The Rock” Banario at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES.
Banario will now be facing “Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Parkin the blockbuster event on 2 August when ONE Championship returns to Manila, Philippines at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The inaugural ONE Featherweight World Champion was slated to face Russian powerhouse Timofey Nastyukhin in the semi-finals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, but that match had to be scrapped after the Russian pulled out because of a knee injury.
Now as the pride of Mankayan, Benguet tries to barge his way back into the win column, he has to focus on his new foe, Dae Sung Park, from South Korea.
“I will face anybody just so I can continue to compete,” Banario said. “I’m laser focused. Training has been intense, and the game plan is pretty much the same. What’s important is that we win.”
For Banario, whether it is in the prestigious Grand Prix or not, staying active is what is important, as he is still set to compete in arguably the most stacked card on Philippine soil.
“It’s really vital that we get to continue to train and compete. What would be a bummer is if I reach my peak only to find out I won’t be fighting anymore,” Banario said.
“That’s why I’m thankful to ONE Championship – because they were quick to look for a replacement on 2 August.”
That replacement is by no means a pushover.
Banario’s opponent, Park, will be gunning for his fourth-straight win in The Home of Martial Arts, and a win over Banario could ultimately build Park’s case for bigger opportunities in the organization.
The 26-year old South Korean standout from Team Macho is fresh off a win on 12 July when he beat Kimihiro Eto in ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY by second round TKO, proving that he is more than capable of taking names in the largest martial arts organization in the world.
Park will certainly have his advantages, but Banario believes that the long preparation he had for Nastyukhin will be critical in this match-up.
“He will come in with a lot of confidence because he’s coming off a win,” Banario said. “I’m sure his morale is very high. That’s his advantage. But for me, I’ve been training well for a high-level opponent, and I’m prepared for what will happen.”