In mixed martial arts, the more you work hard in the gym, the more confident you are during the fight. It is nothing but hard work that brought today’s MMA superstars in the pinnacle of their careers and of course, those sacrifices they endured during their journey to be on top.
In the case of the 22-year-old fighter from Sweden, Zebaztian “Bandit” Kadestam, being away from his home country is one of the biggest sacrifices he made to pursue his dream in the field of mixed martial arts. He is training under the guidance of K-1 vet and MCFC champ, Ole “Iron Fist” Laursen in the famed Legacy Gym in Boracay, Philippines.
Kadestam is currently signed by Pacifix Xtreme Combat (PXC) as a welterweight fighter.
Kadestam made his pro MMA debut against South Korea’s Seok Mo Kim at Pro Fighting 5 in July of 2011. “Bandit” wasted no time and put Kim out in just 14 seconds of the first round, leaving the South Korean fighter unconscious for several seconds. Since then, Kadestam went 4-0 including his recent victory over a very tough veteran in Ron Jhun at PXC 35 in Manila. Kadestam smashed Jhun’s left leg with some brutal kicks that made the Hawaiian warrior quit in the first round.
This kid is a gifted fighter and is currently one of the feared fighters in the PXC’s welterweight division. He is capable of knocking or choking you out. He’s got a wicked stand up game and a very decent ground game as well. He is a force to be reckoned with in his division and will surely be a champion in the near future.
Here’s our interview with welterweight phenom, Zebaztian “Bandit” Kadestam.
MMA Orient: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a 22-year-old guy from the cold place called Sweden, now living in Boracay, Philippines. I started learning Judo when I was around 10, but I realized that it’s not really my thing. A couple of years later, I discovered Muay Thai and got hooked right away.
MMA Orient: How did you get into the sport of MMA?
I got sent into a youth institution when I was a kid and the owner happens to be a brown belt in BJJ and a former boxer. So he introduced me to MMA by daily beating me up standing and on the ground. I got hooked and made my first trip to Legacy gym in Thailand as soon as I could; got my ass kicked there to, so that was it. I am hooked for life.
MMA Orient: Why did you choose MMA over other sports?
I like the rules, the small gloves, and that you can learn a new technique everyday. But I’m not done with Muay Thai yet, MMA is my main sport but I fight Muay Thai whenever there’s a fight coming up.
MMA Orient: What’s the history behind your nickname “Bandit”
I was living the bandit life as a kid but now I’m here to steal glory.
MMA Orient: You are currently signed by the Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) as an undefeated welterweight fighter.You are coming off a very impressive TKO win over a highly talented vet Ron Jhun last February in PXC 35. Take us back to that fight and how did that win changed your life as a fighter?
I did what Ole told me to do in that fight and since I started fighting, I have been wanting to finish someone with low kicks so I’m happy the game plan worked out perfectly. As a fighter, life is the same; keep training hard and get better everyday. But I did get a free soup, thanks to that fight! (Laughs)
MMA Orient: You are training at Legacy Gym in Boracay, Philippines alongside Wang Sai, Alex Niu, Kristoffer Persson, Richie Redman, Marcus Waters, Ray Elbe and Ole Laursen. Tell us something about training with those beasts down there in Boracay.
We got the best team in Asia for sure here at Legacy. We are like a big family. Most of us have been training together for years. All these guys really are beasts with a lot of talenst and they always get me ready for whoever wants to come and throw-down.
MMA Orient: I know you’re already aware of Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford. He wants you or Ryan Bigler on May in Manila for PXC 37. Tell us your thoughts on this guy.
I Don’t think much about him. He has a good record and I’m happy he called me out.
MMA Orient: If the PXC offers you a fight against Ryan Ford in May, would you accept it?
If PXC gives me a fight, I fight.
MMA Orient: Do you think it’s time for you to get the PXC welterweight belt?
I think I deserve it, nobody has it and my plan is to bring that belt to where it belongs – Boracay.
MMA Orient: Do you want to say something to Ryan Ford?
Let’s do it man don’t ask for Bigler.
Check out pxc.com.ph for the latest updates.