Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam scored the most important win of his career to put himself in contention for a second shot at the ONE Welterweight World Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
He bounced back at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER with a superb stoppage win over local hero Agilan “Alligator” Thani in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday, 13 July.
Kadestam started confidently, establishing his jab and scoring with one-two combinations, while frustrating Thani’s early takedown attempts.
Midway through the round, “Alligator” managed to close the distance and secure his first takedown as the crowd in the Axiata Arena roared their approval.
Kadestam looked to make his striking advantage pay, landing a big flying knee and scoring with some solid elbows from the clinch. Thani refused to back down as the pair engaged in a wild exchange as the round came to a close.
Thani looked to push the pace at the start of the second stanza, attempting to cut off the cage and score with looping power punches. Kadestam, meanwhile, scored consistently with crisp counters as the Malaysian tried to close the distance.
The Swedish contender’s takedown defence continued to impress, as the 27-year-old from Stockholm began to dictate where the bout took place, confidently set about scoring with stinging straight shots.
Thani’s striking was slower and less polished, but the Malaysian star caught Kadestam’s attention with a high kick that landed flush on his face. It was all the Swede needed to sharpen his focus ahead of the final round.
When he emerged from his corner for the final frame, Kadestam increased his output as he produced his best action in the ONE cage.
His slick, accurate punches lit up Thani, who had no answer for the Swede’s superb, smooth striking. Sensing a potential stoppage, “The Bandit” loaded up.
A huge left hook sent the Malaysian hero crashing to the mat and, though Thani gamely bounced back and continued, Kadestam wasn’t to be denied. Another salvo of strikes sent “Alligator” back to the canvas as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to end the contest.
It was a hugely impressive performance, made even more remarkable when Kadestam revealed to Mitch Chilson after the bout he had competed with a broken hand since the opening round.
The result gave Kadestam the 10th win of his career, his ninth stoppage and, most importantly of all, announced himself as the top contender for the ONE Welterweight World Title once again.