Tommy Hayden Clears Up Suplex Debate, Calls Out Jason Ponet And George Hickman

Tommy Hayden, head coach of Elite Fight Club and Wildcard Gym, was in the corner of Kritsada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai at ONE Championship: Iron Will in Bangkok, Thailand.

“Dream Man”, the highly-touted wrestler, executed a powerful maneuver that allowed him to pick up the technical knockout victory over his opponent Robert Catalan. The highlight went viral and basically put the Thai fighter on the map.

Unfortunately the day after, ONE Championship officials overturned the result and ruled it a disqualification due to the illegal use of the now-banned suplex.

Was it a suplex or was it a slam? When was the rule put into effect? These are the questions being asked by pundits and even the individuals involved in the organization.

Since there has been a lot of debate and online bickering on this matter, Kongsrichai’s coach Tommy Hayden decided to clear up the controversy and break down what exactly commenced during the event and after the fact.

The UFC veteran and former Full Metal Dojo lightweight champion Tommy Hayden spoke with John Hyon Ko about ONE Championship banning suplexes, the negative backlash after the release of his article on Fox Sports Asia, wanting a rematch with FMD lightweight champion Jason Ponet, eyeing a coach versus coach showdown with George Hickman and more.

Notable excerpts from the interview:

John Hyon Ko: Did you have any doubt in your mind that (Kritsada Kongsrichai’s TKO win) would be overturned?

Tommy Hayden: “No, I didn’t. When I was cage side, I was saying to myself…wow, that was a beautiful sup(lex). That was executed perfectly. Great job. It wasn’t a textbook belly to back suplex but still a beautiful side sup(lex). And I had no inkling that would be overturned.”

John Hyon Ko: How has this affected “Dream Man”? What is his opinion of all this?

Tommy Hayden: “Initially heartbroken. I know he is not happy. He is definitely not happy about this and about how everything was handled but he just became famous. Everything went viral. His slam has been shared everywhere. So, I think this is a net positive not only for “Dream Man” but it’s also a net positive for ONE.”

John Hyon Ko: I want to talk about what you have planned for the future. You got a couple names in your head. Can you tell me something?

Tommy Hayden: “I want to fight Jason Ponet, obviously. I have been asking for that fight. I keep bothering Jon Nutt over at Full Metal [Dojo] for it. Another fight that I would like is against George Hickman, the Tiger Muay Thai head coach. Just because. Tiger Muay Thai has a big name and he and I are around the same weight.”

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