Had Serbian-American kickboxer Ognjen Topic followed his parents’ wishes, it is more than likely that he would not be where he is today.
Regarded as one of the best Muay Thai competitors to come out of the United States, he began as an avid follower of combat sports early in life, but it came with much hesitation from his mother and father.
A BIG night awaits the Singapore mixed martial arts scene today at ONE Championship’s “Unstoppable Dreams” event as potentially the country could wind up with two world champions after everything is said and done.
They say success is forged in the fires of defeat. For former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario, his re-emergence as a top lightweight contender was sparked during the unlikeliest of times.
The Team Lakay veteran went on a five-bout skid between 2013 and 2015, and was on the verge of retirement when he decided to take a step away from competition to regain his bearings.
14 August 2018 – Manila, Philippines: Team Lakay veteran and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario is scheduled to see action in the co-main event of ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON opposite Singapore’s Amir Khan. The two will lock horns in a three-round lightweight contest on 8 September, at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China.
Before he steps into the ONE Championship ring, let’s check out what Banario has to say ahead of his next big match-up.
Honorio Banario Says Renewed Confidence Is Biggest Difference
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario dropped five straight losses following his title-clinching performance over compatriot Eric Kelly in 2013, but has recently turned a new leaf, impressively winning three straight over top flight opponents. A renewed wave of confidence he says is what made a world of difference.
For martial artists, hard work isn’t defined by just one night of action. There is an incredible amount of effort that goes into each victory. Hours of time spent in the gym, honing the skills that are necessary at the highest level is a gargantuan task.
While martial arts is certainly a one-on-one spectacle, the importance of teamwork cannot be overstated.
SINGAPORE – Coming off a huge loss in his last fight in ONE Championship that saw him lose in the process the world lightweight champion title, Filipino mixed martial arts star Eduard “Landslide” Folayang has said that was not the end of him as a top-class fighter and vowed to show he has more to give when he makes his much-awaited return to action on May 18.
ONE Championship light heavyweight fighter Igor Subora might have been born and raised in Ukraine.The 36-year-old Ukrainian is set to return to action on 14 January as he makes his light heavyweight debut against Egyptian combatant Sherif “The Shark” Mohamed on the undercard of ONE: QUEST FOR POWER in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Even though Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio is coming off a disappointing setback and facing a familiar foe as he makes his return to the ONE Championship cage, the celebrated Filipino martial artist remains optimistic that he will have his hand raised in triumph.
Eustaquio faces fierce Thai rival Anatpong “Mak” Bunrad on the undercard of ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES, which takes place at the 12,000-seater Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on Friday, 26 May.
Team Lakay standout Gina “Conviction” Iniong is arguably the most popular female atomweight competitor in the field of women’s mixed martial arts in the Philippines.
However, she lost some luster after bowing to two of the three former world title contenders that she faced on the ONE Championship stage.
Mexican contender Iran Diaz’s training camp for the first world title bout of his professional boxing career is already in high gear.
The 28-year-old native of Sonora, Mexico made no secret of needing all the help that he can get in order to be victorious and overthrow Srisaket Sor Rungvisai for the WBC Super Flyweight World Championship in the main event of ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES, which emanates from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on 6 October.
Istela Nunes and Agilan “The Alligator Thani are considered promising prospects in the sport of mixed martial arts due to their talent and dedication to their craft.
Both fighters are reaping the fruits of their labor as they slated to compete in separate world title contests on Friday, 26 May in Singapore.
Nunes challenges Asian MMA sensation Angela “Unstoppable” Lee for the ONE Women’s Atomweight Championship in the main event of ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES, while Thani vies for the ONE Welterweight World Championship against the division’s best in Ben Askren on the same card.
From fearless strikers to elite submission grapplers, Japan has provided the forever-expanding world of mixed martial arts with a long list of extraordinary athletes with the likes of Caol Uno, Hayato Sakurai, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, Takanori “Fireball Kid” Gomi and Kazushi Sakuraba.
Knowing the relevance of Japanese combatants in the sport, ONE Championship houses the best and brightest competitors from “The Land of the Rising Sun” as they form an integral part of the roster, with exciting prizefighters such as Koji Ando and Kotetsu Boku, as well as the legendary Shinya Aoki and ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito.
The largest sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), has just announced an additional bout for ONE: IMMORTAL PURSUIT, which will be held live at the state-of-the-art Singapore Indoor Stadium on 24 November. Fans will be treated to another exciting evening of authentic martial arts action as a three-round atomweight bout has been added to the blockbuster event, pitting Japanese martial arts veteran Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi against Filipino top contender Gina “Conviction” Iniong.
Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado is part of a deep talent pool of Filipino mixed martial artists with huge potential, and his objective in the constantly-growing sport is to etch his name among the all-time greats.
Miado will take a big step towards fulfilling his dream to become the sport’s household name as he locks horns with undefeated Thai prospect Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit on the undercard of ONE: HERO’S DREAM, which takes place at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on 3 November.
BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU legend Michelle Nicolini continued her ONE Championship streak with another spectacular victory submitting five-time wushu world champion Irina Mazepa in their strawweight encounter at ONE: Kings of Desiny last week.
Nicolini and Mazepa engaged in another classic matchup between a grappler and a striker with the grappler negating the striker’s advantage in distance by taking the fight to the mat.
Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres shocked the world this past August when the little-known atomweight from the Philippines made her promotional debut against rising Thai martial arts superstar Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige at ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS in Macao, China.
While the Thai standout has emerged as one of the most popular talents in Asia’s mixed martial arts scene, Torres stole the spotlight on that fateful night when she submitted Ishige in the second round of their exhilarating contest.
Filipino newcomer Jomary Torres sets her sights on a colossal goal in her ONE Championship debut as she aims to make a statement against up-and-coming Thai martial arts superstar Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige.
Both ladies are set to square off against each other on the undercard of ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS, which takes place at the glamorous Cotai Arena of The Venetian Macao in Macao, China on 5 August.
Filipina fighter Jomary Torres sees it as a privilege to be fighting side-by-side with fellow homegrown martial artists on the undercard of ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS in Macao. China on Saturday, August 5.
Ever since falling short in his bid to capture the ONE Strawweight World Championship title over a year ago, Filipino standout Joshua “The Passion” Pacio was a man on a mission to get a rematch with division kingpin Yoshitaka Naito.
After redeeming himself by notching a split decision victory over former champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke this past March, it seemed that Pacio was one bout away from securing a second encounter with Naito when he faced Hayato Suzuki on the main card of ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS in August.
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