Former ONE Welterweight World Champion Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam is soon entering the Circle for the first time this year, and he’s banking on a solid performance to set him up for a fruitful 2021.
“He is going to come hungry and he will have an opportunity to take something from me. I don’t really have an opportunity to take something from him, except his ‘0’” Kadestam said.
“But it’s more than this one fight for me. I am just happy to be back and I am in a really good place right now. I want to get going and have a good year.”
Despite Gadzhimurad never before competing on the global stage of martial arts, “The Bandit” isn’t underestimating his foe. In fact, he’s taking the opposite approach.
“I saw one fight and recognized one of his cornermen,” Kadestam said.
“I’ve been through the Chinese scene myself, and I know how it is. There are a lot of fights and competitions, and you fight for a living, not for the record. Like, ‘Okay, next week, we’re going to fight to pay next month’s rent,’ so for sure he has a lot more fights than five. But so do I.”
“I am not seeing this guy as inexperienced or a beginner. He is good, for sure. He has a lot to win, but I just think there are levels, and I feel really good right now.”
Against the Russian athlete, Kadestam is ready to contend the outcome wherever the match plays out – whether he has to use his wrestling to stifle his opponent on the ground or use his punches and kicks to outwork him on the feet.
“I think he will be dangerous in the beginning of the fight,“ Kadestam said. “I can’t find much on him – I guess I’ll have to see in the fight what he wants to do. I’m going to do my game, and my game is to shut down wrestlers anyway, so if he wants to do that, then I’m ready. If he wants to strike, then I’d be happy to.”
If “The Bandit” can secure the win, he’s hoping it’ll set him up for a busy year – a year in which he can compete for the ONE World Title he once held and possibly test his skills in a new sport.
“I would like at least three fights, but as many as possible,” he said. “It all depends. My perfect goal for 2021 would be to get a good performance on the 22nd, then get another fight booked right away in one month or two months, and keep going.
“If a title shot comes right away, I am happy to get back my belt. If I have to go through another guy, I will do that. I also think it’s time to go into Muay Thai this year or next year, so I’m going to be looking at that. But most of all, I’m going to be looking to be busy.”
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