July 25, 2024

Team Lakay’s Honorio “The Rock” Banario and Denice Zamboanga were victorious in their respective bouts in the undercard of ONE: King of the Jungle in Singapore on Feb. 28.
The 30-year-old Banario is back to his winning form as he returned to the featherweight division to take Thailand’s Shannon Wiratchai, figuring in a close split decision victory. 
Banario was the inaugural ONE featherweight’s world champion with a technical knockout win of former ONE title contender Eric Kelly in 2013.
Banario and Wiratchai went to war over three full rounds, meeting each other at the center of the ONE circle with their best offense. 
Wiratchai, creator of the One Shin Striking System, dazzled behind a consistent left round kick which found a home on Banario’s chin. 
The Filipino veteran, however, showcased beautiful boxing, and a relentless takedown game that saw him in top position for the majority of the contest. In the end, two of the three judges saw the bout in Banario’s favor.
Banario has improved his mixed martial arts record to 15 wins against 10 losses.
The 23-year-old Zamboanga meanwhile remained undefeated with a unanimous decision against former ONE strawweight title contender Mei Yamaguchi of Japan.
Zamboanga was accurate and powerful, connecting on a volley of explosive boxing combinations. By the end of the first round, Yamaguchi’s face already showed the wear of a warrior who has been through war. 
Although the Japanese fighter tried to nullify Zamboanga’s striking by taking matters to the ground, the Filipino fighter exhibited impeccable takedown defense, stopping most of Yamaguchi’s takedown attempts. 
In the end, the judges scored the bout in favor of Zamboanga. Shortly after, Mitch Chilson announced that Zamboanga had earned herself a shot at the ONE women’s atomweight world championship currently held by Angela Lee.
Zamboanga has four wins as a pro MMA fighter.
Filipino-New Zealand fighter Mark Abelardo, on the other hand, was defeated by United States’ Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen via a unanimous decision. – Harley F. Palangchao