HONORIO Banario laughed at himself as he struggled to describe in English the joy he felt while being interviewed at the cage following his victory at ONE: Kings of Destiny.
It was perhaps the only thing Banario had a difficult time with on a night when he put on a spectacular performance in front of a captivated home crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night.
Banario dazzled with a knockout victory over Jaroslav Jartim that saw the Team Lakay fighter deck the Czech fighter with a big left to the jaw in the second round of their lightweight bout.
Banario, however, never got to celebrate immediately as he expressed concern over the welfare of his opponent as he was being taken out of the cage in a stretcher.
“Tinatanong ko ‘yung medics kung okay ba siya. Sabi nila, nakakatayo na pero they are making sure na he is fine. I’m happy that he is still fine,” said Banario.
The 27-year-old (12-6) notched his fourth straight victory in ONE, fanning talk of a possible title match against Eduard Folayang, who later in the night retained the lightweight belt by beating Ev Ting.
Banario, however, remained disinterested in a fight against his Team Lakay stablemate.
“Last year, palaging tinatanong sa akin ‘yan. Pero para sa akin, bakit mo lalabanan ‘yung family mo, di ba? Eh di magkakagulo kayo, hindi na kayo magkakapatid. Magkakaroon na ng wall."
For now, Banario, who previously reigned as ONE featherweight champion, is just happy to sustain the rise in his MMA career and believes his time as a champion will soon come.
So long as it won't mean crossing paths with his stablemate.
“Naranasan ko na maging champion. Masaya ako na nananalo ako at nananalo siya (Folayang) at nadepensahan niya ‘yung belt at mahawakan ng matagal. Sa akin, gusto ko manalo pa. Time will come na ako rin, hahawak ng belt at magiging two-division champion,” he said.
“I'll just wait (for) my time to come.”