Honorio Banario, Thanh Le, Tang Kai
From L-R: Honorio Banario, current ONE Featherweight Champion Thanh Le, Tang Kai. ONE Championship


  • Honorio Banario thinks Thanh Le will retain the title against Tang Kai at ONE 160
  • Banario lauds Le's versatility ahead of the title fight on Friday, August 26
  • The Team Lakay fighter is raring to fight again soon after a two-year layoff

ONE 160 on Friday, August 26 is set to be headlined by the long-anticipated rematch between newly-crowned lightweight king Ok Rae Yoon and Christian Lee.

Many fans are already expecting the aforementioned second encounter to be a barn-burner.

However, the co-main event just has as much potential as them in taking home the Fight of the Night honors.

Thanh Le will be defending his featherweight title against Chinese knockout artist Tang Kai.

With the storied title being on the line in a marquee-worthy matchup, inaugural ONE featherweight champion Honorio Banario could not help but share his opinion on the upcoming title tilt.

International Business Times sports editor and combat sports analyst Nissi Icasiano recently spoke with Banario, and the Team Lakay representative is among those eager to watch it all unfold.

"I think it's going to be a great fight because they both have knockout power and their striking game is extremely on point. Although Tang has the striking advantage because of his counters, Le's overall game is so well-rounded, especially his offense, footwork, and ground game," Banario said.

"Whoever comes out to enforce their game plan on the other is taking the title home."

While Le can hang with the best ground game specialists in ONE Championship's featherweight division, the Vietnamese-American has proven that his knockout power is just as fearsome.

Since winning his debut against Yusup Saadulaev via knockout in 2019, Le has extended that streak to five victories–all of which come by the same method of victory.

Grappling wizard Garry Tonon was the latest to experience Le's power as he attempted to lock in a submission but was easily thwarted by the champion en route to a knockout in just 56 seconds this past March.

The challenger himself is no slouch either in that regard as he has remained undefeated in six fights, winning four of them by knockout as well.

Tang took on heavy-handed South Korean Kim Jae Woong in a title eliminator at ONE X and came out victorious after catching the latter with a left hook to the ear en route to the ground-and-pound finish.

After laying out both men's strengths on the table, Banario revealed who he is backing in the marquee matchup.

"I think Thanh Le will retain his title. It might also be either by knockout or submission," he told Icasiano.

As Banario waits for the result of Le and Tang's clash on Friday, the former champion himself is eager to step inside the cage again as his last fight was against Shannon Wiratchai in February 2020.

"I really can't wait to fight again since the global pandemic started. I want to test myself against the new fighters in the division and possibly retake my title sometime in the future," he declared.

Thanh Le, Garry Tonon
ONE featherweight king Thanh Le (left) retained his title by knocking out Garry Tonon (right) in the first round of their main event matchup at ONE: Lights Out. ONE Championship