Many cageside observers are counting out Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam in his ONE Welterweight World Championship clash against longtime division kingpin Ben “Funky” Askren. But for the Swedish standout, his underdog role gives him the extra drive to have his hand raised in triumph.
Kadestam faces Askren in the main event of “ONE Championship: Shanghai.” The MMA event takes place at the 15,000-capacity Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China, on Sept. 2.
“I am no pushover,” Kadestam said. “I am not someone’s footstool. On September 2nd, I will once again shock the world. Ben Askren is only a man, and he is beatable. The belt will soon be mine.”
With less than two week to go before the biggest bout in his prizefighting stint, Kadestam did not mince words about his excitement as his dream to become a world champion is within his reach. For him, the bigger the obstacle, the greater the glory.
“He is at the top,” Kadestam said referring to Askren. “I want in. I am here to fulfill my destiny.”
Following his scintillating performance against Santos, Kadestam vows to shock the world once more as he shares the ONE Championship cage with Askren. The latter is universally recognized as one of the best welterweights in the world today with an immaculate record of 16-0.
At “ONE Championship: Shanghai,” Kadestam will compete for the first time in a world title contest, the 26-year-old native of Stockholm, Sweden stressed that being an underdog in the five-round welterweight championship encounter with Askren heightens his hunger to walk away with the gold-plated strap around his waist.
“It’s good to be an underdog because it boosts my motivation to win,” Kadestam said. “When you’re an underdog, others believe that you have a small chance to win. But in some instances, some competitors use it as an extra drive in their fights.”