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MMA: Confident Banario wants to knock out Kelly in ONE FC title match

January 16, 2013 3:30pm

Tags: ONE FC
Mixed martial artist Honorio Banario is looking to score a knockout in his first ONE FC main event match. Banario will be facing fellow filipino Eric Kelly in ONE FC’s first major event of the year, "Return of Warriors," which is slated for February 2 in Malaysia.

Banario holds a record of seven wins, against only one defeat, his latest win coming against Andrew Benibe last August.

[Related: Eric Kelly to battle Honorio Banario for the ONE FC featherweight title]

Banario and Kelly were supposed to fight for the ONE FC featherweight title late last year but it was scrapped as Kelly agreed to fight for URCC’s Dekada fight card.

“It is a huge honor and I am very thankful to ONE FC for giving me this opportunity. I feel like I have been training very hard and now I finally have the opportunity to shine,” said Banario in an interview with GMA News Online. “I will not disappoint and the fans will go home happy. This would just be my first main event but I expect to be in subsequent main events from now on,” he added.

Banario added that winning the ONE FC title will be the fruit of all his hard work. “It would be acknowledgement that I am the best featherweight in Asia and that is huge,” he said. “I not only want to win it, but also defend it against all challengers.”

His opponents, the undefeated Kelly, said he expects Banario to keep both fighters on their feet. Banario agreed wholeheartedly.

“I enjoy the stand-up part of MMA so I would definitely try to keep the fight on my feet. I want to knock him out resoundingly and win the title,” Banario said. However, the proud Team Lakay representative added that he is also confident with his skills elsewhere.

[Related: No other choice but to fight Banario - Erik Kelly]

“I am confident in my other aspects like wrestling and jiu-jitsu so I am confident that I can still beat him even if the fight goes to the canvas. He can try, but he would not be able to beat me,” said Banario.

The lightweight division was Banario’s hunting groud but he’ll move down to the featherweight division for a shot at the ONE FC title. The fighter sees no problem in making the 145 pound featherweight limit. “I have changed my diet and have started my weight cutting early and gradually, he said. “My weight cutting is going smoothly and I am comfortable in making the limit. It will not be a factor when it is time to fight.”

Kelly and Banario are both Igorots and while Kelly said he would have preferred not to be matched-up with a fellow Baguio native, Banario has no problem with it. “I’m not making it that big of a deal,” he said. “We may come from the same heritage, and might have trained together in the past, but at the end of the day, only one of us can emerge from the cage with a title around the waist.”

“That person will be me.” - AMD, GMA News
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Tags: ONE FC

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