|Harold Banario is looking to follow his older brother's footsteps. Ivan Saldajeno|
By Ivan Saldajeno
PASAY--Another Banario is making his way to the mainstream mixed martial arts scene.
Well actually, Harold Banario is making his way back to the said scene as he will be fighting in a major promotion for the first time in four years.
But with his older brother Honorio already leaving a legacy as a former two-time world champ, the eyes of the fans will surely focus on Harold in a manner that they think the younger Banario should win one belt as well.
But while the pressure is there, Harold sees his kuya's former reign as a Universal Reality Combat Championship and One Championship titleholder in a different way.
"Parang namo-motivate ako doon," Harold Banario told Dugout Philippines on Thursday night, the eve of his first fight under Brave Combat Federation.
Although his older brother has been playing in a different division than him, Banario, a bantamweight, said that they have a similar training program.
"Nagpa-partner kami. Kahit si Eduard Folayang, nagpa-partner kami," he added.
Banario, who is sporting a 4-1 record, will take on fellow Filipino Ariel Oliveros at Brave 22: Storm of Warriors at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night.
Both fighters made weight during the official weigh-in held at Resorts World Manila on Thursday night.
However, Banario bared that Oliveros is not really his supposed opponent.
"Supposedly, Russian. But last week, they changed it because of unfortunate reasons," Banario revealed.
But despite the sudden change of plans, his training regime remained the same.
"Yung iba naman, napagaaralan mo tuwing sa laban na," Banario further said. "I expect everything kahit sino man yung kalaban."
Even if he and Oliveros are engaging in an all-Filipino fight, Banario said that fighting in front of his Filipinos is kinda tough for him.
"The pressure is fighting in front of your fellow Filipinos," he quipped.
Despite already fighting since 2012, just at the same time Honorio is starting his journey with One, Harold is arguably part of the so-called new batch of Team Lakay fighters making a name in the international scene.
But while his older brother, Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, Gina Iniong, Kevin Belingon, Joshua Pacio, Stephen Loman, and Danny Kingad, are still active and even vying for world titles, Harold Banario looks to improve on his game as he and Jeremy Pacatiw are set to be the next in line.
"Pino-polish ko muna yung skills ko," Banario further quipped.
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