Ponet (17-11), a Frenchman who has been training at Phuket’s AKA Thailand under former UFC-star Mike Swick, managed to put away ex-champion Tommy Hayden (11-4) via TKO in the first round.
Hayden, a UFC-veteran with a strong wrestling pedigree, attempted to out-grapple the Frenchman for most of the bout at Insanity Nightclub on Saturday (Nov 4). From the opening bell, Hayden’s relentless wrestling attack was working, as he took down Ponet.
But the Frenchman managed to get some separation in the middle of the round and countered a takedown from Hayden with swift kicks, forcing a referee stoppage for soccer kicks to the head, allowed under the promotion’s rules.
Ponet, the only Phuket-based fighter on the card, came away with the championship katana, awarded to newly-crowned titleholders. He’s just the second lightweight champion in the Bangkok-based promotion’s history.
“In AKA [Thailand], we are always ready. I’ve just done two Muay Thai fights last month,” Ponet told The Phuket News. “So I was ready to fight. I just did some preparation for my MMA fight and of course my opponent.
“I just won the FMD lightweight title so I’m ready to defend it, or for any good challenge.”
The rest of the Full Metal Dojo 15 card included fighters from around Thailand and the region, including Tharoth Sam “Little Frog” (4-2) of Cambodia stopping Thailand’s Kaewjai Prachumwong (0-2) during a women’s catchweight bout, via Round 1 armbar submission.
Meanwhile, in what was considered the card’s “Fight of the Night”, Iran’s Mehdi Bagheri (4-0) submitted American Javier Trujillo (3-1) in Round 2 via rear-naked choke.
Full results of FMD 15: “Come out to Play”
- Jason Ponet def. Tommy Harden via TKO at 3:35 in Round 1
- Tharoth Sam def. Kaewjai Prachumwong via submission at 4:47 in Round 1
- Mehdi Bagheri def. Javier Trujillo via submission at 2:36 in Round 2
- Meas Meul def. Allen Chong via submission at 2:51 in round 2
- Sunisa Srisan def. Phunsasorn Thanuthon via TKO at 1:32 in Round 2
- Detchadin Srosirisuphathin def. Kushal Vyas via TKO at 1:02 in Round 1
- Akihiro Fujisawa def. Jirawa Aunjai via submission at 2:24 in Round 1