Honorio Banario ready for Herbert Burns, says Team Lakay coach
MANILA, Philippines - Despite coming off a three-fight losing skid, Team Lakay head trainer Mark Sangiao remains optimistic that former ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) featherweight titleholder Honorio Banario will fare well against Herbert Burns.
The 25-year-old Filipino is booked to face the highly-touted prospect from Brazil on the undercard of ONE FC: Warrior’s Way on Friday, December 5.
A first-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Burns (4-0) has never tasted defeat since his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) debut in February 2012 when he submitted Saulo Eduardo da Silva with a triangle armbar.
Facing a Filipino fighter is not new for the 5-foot-10 Evolve MMA representative as he had crossed paths with Pinoy stalwarts in the past, forcing Edward Kelly to tap at ONE FC: Moment of Truth in December 2013 before outpointing Harris Sarmiento at ONE FC: War of Nations in March of this year.
Burns solidified his status as one of the top contenders for the 145-pound division’s top prize when he dominated Hiroshige Tanaka in three rounds at ONE FC: Reign of Champions last August.
On the other hand, Banario (8-4) seeks to claim his first victory since capturing the inaugural ONE FC featherweight belt against compatriot Eric Kelly in February 2013 as he dropped three outings in a row.
Prior to his decision setback to Jadamba Narantungalag at ONE FC: Honor & Glory in May, Banario suffered two excruciating defeats by knockout in the hands of Koji Oishi.
According to Sangiao, they accepted the three-round featherweight tussle versus Burns because a win will definitely create a stir for Banario.
“We decided to get this fight for Honorio because a win over Herbert Burns could bring him back into his rightful place in the rankings,” he told Rappler during the media workout at Elorde Fight Factory in Taguig City on Tuesday, December 2.
The Team Lakay mentor also mentioned that the leverage they will derive from a triumph by Banario over Burns is the possibility of a rematch with Jadamba.
“It’s a close fight between Honorio and Jadamba. But we believe that Honorio won against Jadamba. We want that rematch,” Sangiao said.
With the aim to be a more versatile fighter than his cage counterpart, Sangiao revealed that Banario put more emphasis on the grappling department in training camp.
“We are going against a world-class Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and we know where Herbert Burns wants to have the fight,” he asserted.
Even if Banario is statistically an underdog against Burns, Sangiao believes that his pupil has undergone adequate preparation to score an upset.
“Honorio is more confident right now as a fighter. He is no longer looking at his two knockout losses to Koji Oishi or his close decision loss to Jadamba. He is focused on getting the win over Herbert Burns,” he shared.
Aside from Banario, two of his colleagues are likewise scheduled to compete on the same fight card, which takes places at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila.
Philippine MMA frontrunner Eduard Folayang (14-4) squares off with Russian lightweight Timofey Nastyukhin (7-1), while Kevin Belingon (12-4) meets Japanese bantamweight Koetsu Okazaki (10-3-1).
“These three have tough oppositions on Friday. It’s a must-win situation for the three of them. We’re going to do our best to bring home the victory,” Sangiao ended. - Rappler.com