Swedish welterweight contender Zebaztian Kadestam is ready to ascend to the summit of his division on Saturday, 17 November.
“The Bandit” will take on American Tyler McGuire for the vacant ONE Welterweight World Title in the main event of ONE: WARRIOR’S DREAM in Jakarta, Indonesia on 17 November.
And after a huge win in his last contest, the 28-year-old believes he is ready to achieve his dream of capturing the ONE Championship World Title.
Kadestam’s most recent appearance inside the ONE Championship cage saw him produce arguably the best performance of his career as he knocked out fellow contender Agilan “Alligator” Thani in the third round of their main event clash at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER in Kuala Lumpur in July.
It was the first time Kadestam had competed since his loss to then-champion Ben Askren in September 2017, but the Swede looked sharp on his return as he produced a superb finish to a thrilling contest to book himself a date in the 17 November World Title bout.
“I didn’t feel any ring rust or anything like that, but I was a little anxious about getting back in there because there was almost one year between bouts,” he reveals.
“I had a good time. I felt like the [Ben] Askren fight was my biggest fight – no fight can ever affect me as much as that fight did.
“I feel I got that out of my system, so when I went to fight Agilan in his hometown in the main event, I felt no pressure, and I just had a good time. I think it was kind of good, actually. Everything felt good.”
Kadestam’s performance showcased his full-range of mixed martial arts abilities, but the Swede says there is still plenty more to come from him in future contests.
“I think there was a lot of things I have improved and that I still can improve, but I’m most pleased that I was able to just go for it,” he continues.
“I was able to be relaxed and not really care about anything. He got me down, and it didn’t bother me. I got into a nice rhythm.”
Faced with the challenge of a seasoned wrestler like McGuire, Kadestam knows his strength and conditioning will have to be on point, and he has addressed those areas in detail during his training camp ahead of the contest.
“I’ve been training hard, and I feel good, so I feel confident for this fight,” he says.
“[In his last bout] he looked good in the way he executed his game plan, but I think he’s going to use kind of the same style as all of my previous opponents. He’s going to grind, and try and take me down.
“I’ve been training for these kinds of guys for so long, so I’m starting to get the hang of it.
“He’s a strong guy with good cardio. I think the first couple of rounds is going to be tough, but I think I need to shut his game down, and then let ‘The Bandit’ come out and play – just be myself and have a good time in there.
“I don’t have a problem if things get tough. I’m used to it. I’ve never had an easy fight my whole career, so I just need to go in there and stop his game, then slowly take over. The more fun I can have, the better the night is going to be.”
Competing for titles is nothing new for Kadestam, and he says his experience in this type of contest should stand him in good stead when he faces McGuire on 17 November.
He promises nerves will not be a factor and he will step into the cage fully prepared, both mentally and physically, to deliver his best performance on the night.
“In my career, I’ve fought seven or eight main events on big shows, and five or six of them have been for titles, so I feel like I belong. People want to see a show, and they count on me bringing it,” he explains.
“I’ve had a couple of losses, and my dreams of becoming an undefeated World Champion have kind of gone out the window, so I want to be the best I can be. But most of all, I want to entertain.
“I want to win fights and be as entertaining as I can be. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to put on a show for everyone.”