Kritsada Kongsrichai’s victory at ONE: Iron Will has been overruled.
The 13-time Thai national wrestling champion was one of the standout performers in Bangkok, Thailand. His grappling expertise, combined with his outstanding ability as a clinch fighter saw him overwhelm his opponent.
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When Robin Catalan gave up his back 90 seconds into the first round, Kongsrichai executed a belly-to-back suplex. The powerful slam ended up with Catalan landing partly on his shoulders and head, and the sequence allowed Kongsrichai to land some final strikes from a dominant position to end the fight and secure his third consecutive first-round stoppage.
But now, what was one of the most spectacular performances at Iron Will will now be overturned.
Suplexes are now banned in ONE Championship
One day after the event, Chatri Sityodtong released a statement on Facebook announcing the decision to disqualify Kongsrichai.
“Unfortunately, I have to be the bearer of bad news. While I am a big fan of Kritsada Kongsrichai and his incredible athleticism, the fight against Robin Catalan has now been ruled a DQ. After careful video review of the fight under multiple angles, it has been deemed that an illegal suplex was utilized. At ONE Championship, all variations of suplexes are illegal and any attempt or intent results in an automatic disqualification. Robin Catalan will now be awarded the victory, and his win bonus. It will also be ruled a loss via DQ for Kritsada Kongsrichai and his official fight record.”
Sityodtong also explained:
“As a fellow lifelong martial artist, I fully understand that no athlete wants to win or lose under the cloud of a DQ. However, as the leader of ONE Championship, I am here to ensure that safety is the #1 priority at all times for all of our athletes.”
An unfortunate impact
Kongsrichai’s suplex had much more than just an unfortunate impact inside the ONE Championship cage.
At a time when Rika Ishige lost an uneventful three-round contest to Angelie Sabanal – who was making her professional debut – and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke was knocked out by Jeremy Miado, the Thai MMA scene was in dire need a new shining star.
Yes, Shannon Wiratchai returned to form with a devastating knockout of his own, but he is still recovering from a fairly lackluster performance against Rasul Yakhyaev not long ago.
Kritsada Kongsrichai’s dominant performance should have seen him on the fast-track to stardom in Thailand. Unfortunately, however, he’ll now have to take a step backward after this disqualification halted his impressive winning streak.
Kongsrichai record is now listed as 6-4 as a professional mixed martial artist. The disqualification is his first “loss” since August 2016.
Here is the end of the strawweight bout between Kritsada Kongsrichai and Robin Catalan. The Thai’s knockout win was overturned to a disqualification loss. pic.twitter.com/R1sbuwSXaO
— ‘El Chapo’ Nissi Icasiano (@Nissi_Icasiano) March 25, 2018
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.