Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam has already reached the top with ferocious striking, and he’s eager to prove that his stand-up skills can still take out elite opponents.
The former ONE Welterweight World Champion will face undefeated Russian Murad Ramazanov in a mixed martial arts clash at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II this Friday, 17 December, and a victory is essential if he wants to mount a comeback toward Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov’s divisional gold.
Before this welterweight matchup at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, we break down what makes the Swedish star so dangerous against the grappler from Dagestan.
#1 Thudding Low Kicks
The former Muay Thai competitor has effective low kicks that he uses as one of his longer-range weapons to begin dismantling his opponents.
While blasting the thigh and calf, it’s not uncommon for Kadestam to buckle his rival’s leg with those punishing strikes to the lower limb.
Doing so helps keep the Swede at a safer distance against wrestlers, while low kicks are less likely to be caught and countered than body kicks.
However, “The Bandit” was burned in his last bout against Gadzhimurad Abdulaev. On Friday, he must set up his low kicks with strikes and retract them quickly. That way, he can start to hurt Ramazanov’s lead leg and restrict the Russian’s ability to blast in for takedowns.
- 5 Memorable Finishes From The MMA Stars Of ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II
- Unbeaten Ramazanov Aims To ‘Conquer’ Kadestam, Earn World Title Shot
- 5 Reasons Why Fan Rong Can Be ONE’s Premier Middleweight Contender
#2 Devastating Close-Range Strikes
Kadestam likes to use every element from “the art of eight limbs.” He employs punishing strikes in close, with sharp elbows and concussive knees that have dispatched multiple opponents.
Though he will step in with elbows, the Swede mostly likes to unleash them from the clinch. He looks to scythe through guards against the Circle Wall and utilizes them on the break when his opponents transition between ranges.
Kadestam’s knees are also devastating. While they’re an option in the clinch, his use of them on the ground has worked wonders under MMA rules.
For instance, “The Bandit” knocked out Luis Santos after stuffing a takedown and then drilling his foe with knees to the temple.
#3 Power That Doesn’t Fade
Anybody taking on “The Bandit” needs to stay alert for the duration of the battle, as the Legacy Gym and Pancrase Gym Sweden representative simply doesn’t switch off – he’s dangerous from the first bell until the last.
That was clear as Kadestam scored stoppage wins in the final round of his first three victories on the global stage — with the latest coming at 4:32 of round five against McGuire.
Against Santos, the 31-year-old was dominated for much of the first two frames, but that still wasn’t enough to see him cede any ground at the end.
Kadestam continued doing everything in his power to stuff the Brazilian’s takedown attempts and then had the aggression to counter them in deadly fashion.
Even if Ramazanov feels like he can cruise to a decision, Kadestam will never lie down and accept defeat. His conditioning and heart are two of his biggest assets.