Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Honorio Banario: To win back honor and glory

With Honorio Banario at the weigh-in.
This appears on

Honorio Banario: To win back honor and glory
by rick olivares

There’s a look of determination in Honorio Banario’s eyes. When needed especially when putting on his game face, the look in his eyes harden where anyone who looks into them will know they are in trouble. Out of the cage, they soften and you’d say that the Benguet native is one of the nicest guys around.

In Singapore for ONE FC Honor and Glory, Banario is focused on his Featherweight Division fight against Mongolian Jadamba Narantungalag who also totes an 8-3 record. The Filipino would like to add a badly needed win to his totals. It is sorely needed as he has lost two consecutive fights in devastating fashion to Koji Oishi and three in his last five. His only two victories have come against Filipino fighters so Banario would like to see two streaks come to a grinding halt when he takes to the cage of the Singapore Indoor Stadium at Kallang on Friday, May 30.

There’s a buzz on the eve of the fight for UFC legend Rich Franklin is in town as the ONE FC’s new Vice President. For Banario, on any other day he’d be star-struck but right now, he needs to be focused.

When he takes to the cage on Friday night, his usual coach Mark Sangiao won’t be behind him as some urgent business has his attention. In the coach’s place will be fellow Team Lakay fighter Eduard Folayang who himself breathed a sigh of relief with a massive win in the last ONE FC promotion.

Folayang knows all too well what Banario is going through. “One of the hardest things a fighter has to prepare for is his mental toughness,” revealed Folayang in the vernacular. “After coming off a loss, you almost never shake it off. It’s like a scar only its inside of you and not outside. But that should serve as motivation for moving on to your next fight. You have to or else…”

Folayang’s voice trailed off. He related stories of fighters who called it quits because of the pain of the loss and because people never stopped talking about it. “The only way to take it away is to win it back. Besides, there are a lot of young Filipino fighters out there who look up to us. If we quit because of a loss then we are setting the wrong example.”

To hear Banario talk, the word “quit” isn’t in his vocabulary. “You just have to keep getting back up. You cannot go into a fight with negative feelings or thoughts.”

During his training back in Manila, Banario worked on his defense and having a stronger chin. Clearly, the effects of those two knockouts at the hands of Oishi linger on. He admitted that he made a mistake of losing his focus when the referee warded him off on several occasions. Hopefully, he would have learned from that mistake.

“I’m ready,” said Banario before he went up to his room to get some rest after making the weight of 145-pounds (the prescribed weight for the fight with Jadamba).

Those soft eyes of his momentarily changed to that harder look.

Now all he has to do on Friday night is to win back his honor and glory.


Other ONE FC reading material:

Ben Askren: A debut with many implications

Rich Franklin joins ONE FC as its Vice President

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