Competing in the hometown of the opponent doubles the pressure for a mixed martial artist. This is exactly what Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam, 27, of Sweden is about to face at “ONE: Pursuit of Power” on July 13, 2018 at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In the main event of “ONE: Pursuit of Power,” Kadestam will compete in the welterweight division against Agilan “Alligator” Thani, 22, of Malaysia. Both fighters are aiming to inherit the ONE Welterweight World Champion title from Ben “Funky” Askren, 33, of the United States.
“I am no pushover,” Kadestam declared. “I am not someone’s footstool. The belt will soon be mine.”
“The bigger the obstacle, the greater the glory,” the Swedish contender added. “I am here to fulfill my destiny.”
Kadestam is coming out of a loss to Askren. In September 2017, the American champ defeated his Swedish challenger to retain the welterweight crown by way of second-round technical knockout in Shanghai, China.
Eager to erase the memory of his loss to Askren by putting himself back on the winning track, Kadestam returns to action on Friday, 13 July as he is booked to square off with a fellow ex-world title challenger in Agilan “The Alligator” Thani of Malaysia.
Both men are slated to face each other in the main event of ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER. Kadestam guarantees a better version of himself as he crosses paths with Thani, who aced his last two assignments since yielding to Askren in May 2017.
“Coming into this bout, I have a renewed confidence now. Surely, I am training hard. I am motivated to show the world that I am worthy to compete on an international stage like ONE Championship,” he stated.
Now that Askren has decided to call it a career after a successful title defense against Shinya Aoki last November, the road to the world title has seen its most costly toll removed.
Kadestam seeks to continue his climb to the apex of the organization’s 83.9-kilogram weight class.
“I have dreams of really becoming a world champion in this wonderful sport someday, and I am coming and willing to work for it,” he said.
Kadestam knows that he and Thani share the same desire of competing for gold once more, but he stressed that his Malaysian counterpart would not get the title shot he intensely wants at his expense.