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Harold Banario: Igorot MMA Fighter and Gifted Artist

Explore the multifaceted talent of Igorot, Harold "The Artist" Banario, excelling in both Mix Martial Arts and the art world.

 |  7 min read

Discover the talents of Harold 'The Artist' Banario, a formidable presence in the MMA arena and a gifted artisan. Dive into a captivating narrative that extends beyond the cage, showcasing the unique blend of his fighting skills and artistic prowess.

Harold Banario, a formidable force in the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) hailing from Balili, Mankayan, Benguet, emerges from the vibrant Igorot community as both a skilled fighter and a gifted artist. While his prowess in the MMA arena has garnered recognition, there exists a lesser-explored facet of Banario's identity - that of a visionary painter.

In this article, we embark on a journey to unravel the layers of Banario's life, shedding light on the canvas where his fists and brushstrokes converge.

This narrative aims to unveil the dual persona of Harold Banario: the Igorot MMA fighter and the accomplished artist, showcasing the fascinating coexistence of two seemingly divergent worlds in one remarkable individual.

Harold "The Artist" Banario

The Igorot Warrior's Journey

Harold Banario, known by the moniker "The Artist," has sculpted a formidable path in the realm of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). His professional MMA record stands at an impressive 5-2-0 (Win-Loss-Draw), a testament to his prowess inside the cage.

Standing at a height of 5'7" (170cm), Banario's physical stature is a mere reflection of the larger-than-life presence he commands in the MMA arena. His journey extends beyond the numerical victories, encapsulating a fusion of skill, resilience, and cultural pride.

As a key figure within Team Lakay, Banario's role transcends individual achievements. The collective spirit of Team Lakay becomes a driving force, shaping Banario's journey into a shared pursuit of excellence within the MMA landscape.

Embodying the cultural significance of being an Igorot MMA fighter, Banario's victories resonate as a source of pride for the Igorot community. Each win is not just a personal triumph but a cultural milestone, weaving the narrative of an Igorot warrior making his mark on the competitive stage.

Challenges faced by Banario are met with unwavering determination, echoing the warrior ethos ingrained in the Igorot heritage. Key fights become chapters in a narrative where the clash of fists is not merely a sport but a profound expression of resilience and identity.

Pro MMA Record: 5-2-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)

  • Nickname: The Artist
  • Height: 5'7" (170cm)

Key Fights

Opponent Result Method Round Date Event
Gamzat Magomedov Loss KO/TKO 1 2019.12.27 Brave CF 33
Ariel Oliveros Win Kneebar 1 2019.03.15 Brave CF 22
Gamzat Magomedov (Cancelled) - - - 2019.03.15 Brave CF 22
Mark Abelardo Loss Punches 1 2015.06.13 PXC 48
Joseph Mercado Win Decision (U) - 2013.11.09 PXC 41
Adamson Torbiso Win Armbar 1 2013.09.14 PXC 39
Rolan Romero (Cancelled) - - - 2013.09.14 PXC 39
Ereneo Galindez Win - - 2012.12.15 Team Lakay Championship
Dawn Max Takayeng Win - - 2012.04.14 Team Lakay Championship

In this comprehensive overview of Banario's MMA career, we witness not just a fighter accumulating wins but an artist crafting a story. The canvas of his journey is painted with victories, losses, and a relentless pursuit of excellence that goes beyond the cage. As "The Artist," Banario's legacy in the MMA world becomes a masterpiece, a testament to the enduring spirit of an Igorot warrior.

Artistry Beyond the Ring

Harold Banario's artistry transcends the boundaries of the MMA ring, weaving a multifaceted narrative that captivates audiences and extends beyond the realm of sports.

Harold Banario: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast: A Cultural Canvas

One notable work that garnered widespread attention is Banario's "Beauty and the Beast" self-portrait. This viral masterpiece not only showcases his physical prowess but also unveils a profound artistic sensibility.

In the "Beauty and the Beast" self-portrait, Banario paints a captivating portrayal of himself as an Igorot, adorned in traditional bahag, embodying the role of the beast. The juxtaposition of this cultural identity with the archetype of beauty is visually striking. Notably, Banario depicts Emma Watson as the Beauty, adding a contemporary touch to this artistic exploration.

The inspiration behind this artwork goes beyond mere aesthetics; it's a visual exploration of Banario's identity as both an athlete and an artist. The piece delves into the complexity of his persona, offering spectators a glimpse into the intricate dance between vulnerability and strength, a narrative that extends beyond the realm of sports.

This viral artwork has resonated not only within the MMA community but has also made waves in the art world. It serves as a bridge between two seemingly disparate realms, sparking conversations about the intersection of athleticism and artistic expression.

Harold Banario's Team Lakay mural at the Baguio Athletic Bowl

Team Lakay Mural: A Visual Ode

Beyond the self-portrait and individual works, Banario's artistic footprint extends to the Team Lakay Mural at the Baguio Athletic Bowl. Measuring 13 by 24 feet, this mural stands as a testament to the team's collective identity, capturing the spirit and unity that define Team Lakay.

The mural includes Team Lakay's founder Mark Sangiao, Eduard Folayang, and other Igorot MMA legends, creating a visual dialogue between the present and the cultural heritage that shapes them.

The Baguio Athletic Bowl mural isn't just a static piece; it's a living tribute to the team's journey, immortalizing their shared victories, enduring struggles, and the unyielding spirit that propels them forward. It goes beyond being a mere mural; it's a vivid testament to the cultural tapestry woven by these warriors from the north.

Brushing with Culture: The Igorot Heritage

Banario's cultural brushstrokes extend beyond individual portraits and self-reflection to encompass the rich tapestry of Igorot heritage, particularly drawing from the themes rooted in Balili, Mankayan, Benguet.

In these cultural brushstrokes, Banario doesn't just capture images; he encapsulates a way of life, a spirit that transcends time.

The interweaving of cultural influences and artistic expression in his paintings becomes a celebration of identity, a testament to the enduring legacy of Balili, Mankayan, Benguet, and the Igorot people.

Banario's Lions Nation MMA Mural

In essence, Banario's artistry goes beyond the canvas; it becomes a narrative that intertwines the worlds of sports and art, enriching both with the depth of his creative expression.

The impact of his artwork reverberates far beyond the confines of the MMA arena, leaving an indelible mark on those who engage with his visual storytelling.

The Banario Brothers

Family Legacy

Harold Banario's legacy extends beyond his individual achievements, intertwining with a rich family history marked by both sporting prowess and artistic talent.

The Fighting Spirit: Banario Brothers in the Cage

Harold Banario's brothers, Honorio and Dario Jr., epitomize the continuation of the family's fighting spirit. Honorio Banario, in particular, has carved his own path in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) as the former ONE Championship Featherweight champion. His accomplishments speak volumes about the Banario family's dedication to excellence within the competitive arena.

Artistic Flourish: A Family Affair

The Banario family not only shares a passion for combat sports but also an innate artistic flair. Beyond the cage, several siblings showcase their artistic talents, contributing to the family's diverse legacy. Their artworks, like brushstrokes on a canvas, add layers of creativity to the Banario narrative.

Hon Dario Banario Sr, Mankayan Mayor

Dario Banario Sr.: A Leader in the Ring and Beyond

The patriarch of the Banario family, Dario Banario Sr., recently achieved a significant victory in the political arena. Securing the position of Municipal Mayor of Mankayan, Benguet, reflects not only his leadership qualities but also the respect garnered within the community.

This recent triumph underscores the Banario family's commitment to making an impact not just in sports and art but also in the service of their community. It's a testament to the values instilled in them - discipline, resilience, and the pursuit of excellence.

In exploring the Banario family legacy, we witness a narrative that transcends individual achievements. It's a tale of collective strength, where each member contributes to a story marked by triumphs in the cage, strokes of creativity on the canvas, and leadership in the political arena. The Banario legacy becomes a mosaic of diverse talents and achievements, reflecting the depth of their impact on both local and global stages.


Harold Banario's life is a captivating blend of two worlds - the fierce fighter and the talented artist. His story unfolds as a seamless coexistence of strength and creativity.

The canvas of his life, painted with victories in the cage and strokes of artistic expression, narrates a tale of resilience and cultural pride.

Banario's legacy extends beyond the realm of mixed martial arts, leaving a lasting impact on art, culture, and community leadership.

For those interested in owning a piece of Banario's artistic journey, you can explore and purchase his artworks through his Facebook page and Instagram. In the dual roles he plays, Banario's journey stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of the Igorot warrior.

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