Honorio Banario wins first ONE FC fight in 3 years

Nissi Icasiano
Honorio Banario wins first ONE FC fight in 3 years
Banario ends a 5-fight losing streak with a decision win over compatriot Vaughn Donayre

MANILA, Philippines – After suffering 5-straight disappointing defeats, Honorio Banario returned to his winning ways by outclassing compatriot Vaughn Donayre on the undercard of ONE Championship’s “Global Rivals” event on Friday, April 15 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. 

Banario, a former ONE featherweight titleholder, took the gamble to move up to lightweight and square off with Donayre, who was also seeking his first win under the organization’s umbrella. 

Banario’s decision to leave the featherweight division turned out to be a blessing on his part as he had his hand raised with a 3-round unanimous decision triumph, his first win since February 2013 when he routed fellow homegrown talent Eric Kelly.

It was far from the usual fighting style for Banario as he opted to display his wrestling arsenal and easily slumped Donayre to the mat with 5 takedown attempts.

Donayre attempted to shift the momentum on his side by engaging in a toe-to-toe trade with Banario, who responded by consistently rocking his opponent with a right cross and then frequently shooting for takedowns in the first two rounds of the bout. 

Banario’s superb top control kept the action on the mat, allowing him to punish Donayre with perilous punches and rancorous elbows.

Banario improves his win-loss standing to 9-6 and snaps his 5-fight losing skid.

On the other hand, Donayre tastes his third consecutive setback in ONE Championship and downgrades his prizefighting record to 8-5.

Geje Eustaquio schools Gianni Subba in 3 rounds

Filipino fighter Geje Eustaquio may be on the verge of another ONE Championship flyweight title shot as he pulled off a masterful performance against Malaysian prospect Gianni Subba in the co-headliner.

 The 26-year-old Baguio City native earned a unanimous decision victory, fully utilizing his striking firepower in the stand-up exchanges. 

It took time for Eustaquio to find his groove as Subba’s length and height advantage prevented him to close the distance and deliver his signature strikes. 

Midway point of the opening salvo was when Eustaquio was able to push the right buttons, smacking Subba with a solid right straight and his follow-up left hook. 

Eustaquio actively engaged in a toe-to-toe trade with Subba in the second stanza, catching his Malaysian opponent with thunderous head kicks and lashing leg kicks. 

The 5-foot-5 Team Lakay standout was looking for a big knockout blow at the start of the third and final frame, wildly swinging his right hand.

In a desperate attempt, Subba attained a quick takedown that Eustaquio had never seen coming as he was busy peppering jabs and leg kicks.

However, Eustaquio managed to return to his feet by amazingly twirling behind Subba’s back and continued to stuff his foe’s takedown stabs.

With the impressive victory over Subba, Eustaquio is now riding high on a two-fight winning streak and improves his professional record to 8-4.

On the other hand, Subba snaps his 4-match victory parade with the lopsided loss to Eustaquio and downgrades his win-loss slate to 7-2.

Meanwhile, Filipino-Australian stalwart Reece McLaren (9-3) added another ONE Championship prospect to his list of victims as he earned a hard-fought unanimous decision at the expense of Tajikistani bantamweight Muin Gafurov (10-1).

Aside from Banario, Team Lakay, one of the country’s most popular and elite mixed martial arts groups, went 3-0 on the preliminary card of ONE: Global Rivals.

Joshua Pacio (7-0) overwhelmed fellow Wushu practitioner Rabin Catalan (4-2) with two ground-shattering takedowns before he tattered with malevolent punches to bag the technical knockout triumph at 3:19 of the second stanza. 

April Osenio (1-1) celebrated her 21st birthday by coercing Filipino-Australian atomweight Nathalie Gonazales Hills (1-4) to tap at 3:23 of the opening salvo with an armbar.

Danny Kingad (3-0) made a quick work of Muhamad Haidar (0-1), finishing the Malaysian rookie with ground-and-pound at 2:20 of the first frame. 

However, one Filipino fighter failed walk out of the ONE Championship cage with the sweet victory as Indonesian journeyman Su Noto (4-2) spoiled the promotional debut of Burn Soriano (2-2), surviving a tight Kimura lock before getting the job done at 3:50 of the first round by bombarding his Pinoy counterpart with ground shots. – Rappler.com

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