Recently, Kritsada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai, 26, of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand suffered a heartbreaking setback when he competed in front of his countrymen. He was declared the victor and received the nominal medal, including his guaranteed purse with win bonus, but hours later, ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong overturned his triumph.
Originally, Kongsrichai earned a technical knockout victory over Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan, 27, at “ONE: Iron Will,” which took place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on March 24, 2018. The Thai mixed martial artist slammed his Filipino opponent and finished him off with follow-up punches at the 1:40 mark of Round 1.
Receiving a high-angle belly-to-back suplex from Kongsrichai, Catalan crashed his head first to the canvas. After the event, Sityodtong issued a statement declaring that the move was illegal, and as a result, the Filipino contender was awarded with the win via disqualification.
Kongsrichai admitted that when he found out the victory was reversed to a disqualification loss, it was a bitter pill to swallow. He was disappointed at first but he has to live with it and move on.
“I respect Mr. Chatri’s decision,” Kongsrichai stated. “I accept it with submission. They would know best. The company looks after the safety and the welfare of every competitor on the roster.”
As Kongsrichai pointed out, ONE Championship stands true to its mission to protect its athletes and ensure their safety. Thus, he respects the verdict of the organization’s higher-ups to overrule his victory over Catalan.
“I accepted the promotion’s decision,” Kongsrichai declared. “I knew I tried my best in that bout.”
After the loss to Catalan, Kongsrichai participated at the recently concluded Thailand Wrestling Championship 2018. With the goal of regaining his confidence, he won the gold medal for the 14th consecutive year.
On June 29, 2018, Kongsrichai is returning to the cage with yet another Filipino opponent. He and Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado, 25, of the Philippines will compete in the strawweight division at “ONE: Spirit of a Warrior” at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
Meanwhile, here is a clip from one of Kongsrichai’s previous bouts: