For the second-straight time under the ONE Championship banner, Swedish MMA fighter Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam will be sitting in the blue corner, where underdogs or challengers are designated in a match. He is set to challenge ONE welterweight world champion Ben “Funky” Askren on Sept. 2 at “ONE Championship: Shanghai.”
In May, Kadestam made headlines when he defeated top welterweight contender Luis “Sapo” Santos of Brazil by way of third-round knockout at “ONE: Dynasty of Heroes” in Singapore. Representing the blue corner, Kadestam won his last cage outing, making a successful promotional debut.
“Blue is a lucky color for me this year,” Kadestam stated. “I have no problem if I will be in the blue or red corner.”
Kadestam’s astounding victory over Santos swiftly earned him a world title opportunity as he is set to lock horns with the toughest opponent of his professional career in Askren. For Kadestam, what matters right now is that he is vying for the world title, and he is going to “give everything to capture the belt.”
The incredible feat at “ONE: Dynasty of Heroes” was especially impressive because Kadestam had been completely dominated in the opening two rounds of the contest before pulling off a miraculous knockout in the final stanza. The little-known Swede turned the tide midway of the third round by sprawling a sluggish takedown attempt from the Brazilian, then reversed position, and hammered his opponent with strikes from side control.
A pair of hard knees put the finishing touches as the referee stepped in to call a halt to the contest at 2:18 of the third and final frame.
“I do not think I have ever fought like that before,” Kadestam shared. “I was waiting and waiting because I could feel his power, especially in the first two minutes. He had power in everything. He was fast in his hands and knees. My plan was to attack a lot more, but I could also see him gas early.”