Banario to defend title at home

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013


HONORIO “The Rock” Banario will try to defend his ONE FC featherweight crown for the first time in front of a hometown crowd in ONE FC’s second stop here in the Philippines.

Banario is up against Japanese veteran Koji Oishi in the main event of ONE FC – “Rise to Power” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on May 31.

Banario captured the vacant ONE FC featherweight strap with a fourth round stoppage over highly-regarded Eric Kelly last February.

The 23-year-old Team Lakay standout will have his hands full against Oishi because the latter has fought some of the best and has been in the brutal sport since 2000.

The 35-year-old Oishi has fought the likes of UFC fighters Cris Lytle, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz and Carlos Condit. He owns a win over Nate Diaz by unanimous decision. Banario is 8-1, while Oishi is 23-9-10.

Former Dream bantamweight titleholder Bibiano Fernandes makes his second trip to the country as he takes on Japanese former Shooto featherweight king Koetsu Okazaki for the interim One FC bantamweight belt in the co-main event.

Fernandes and Okazaki are fighting for the interim crown because current champion Soo Chul Kim is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Also expected to see action in the blockbuster MMA show are Filipino warriors Eduard Folayang, Rey Docyogen and Geje Eustaquio.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 11, 2013.

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