Zebaztian Kadestam Breaks Down Shocking Knockout Of Roberto Soldic At ONE Fight Night 10
Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam promised to deliver an epic performance at ONE Championship’s historic U.S. debut in Colorado – and he certainly delivered.
On May 5, the former ONE Welterweight MMA World Champion took on Croatian superstar Roberto “Robocop” Soldic at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III on Prime Video, and the intense two-round affair lived up to all of the hype.
Once the opening bell sounded, it was clear the match was unlikely to last all 15 minutes, although Kadestam’s stunning second-round knockout didn’t seem like the most obvious possibility.
Soldic appeared to take control during round one, whipping in his feared left hand and connecting with volleys of punches. But in hindsight, Kadestam was laying the foundation for his massive finish.
The Swedish striker backed up more than usual, which makes sense against a rival with “Robocop’s” firepower. Plus, it allowed him to start reading the Croatian’s attacks while enticing him to swing for the fences.
Kadestam told ONEFC.com afterward:
“I was excited when I got the fight, and I was excited in the fight. I knew it would be a good, tough fight. I wanted to move around in the first round and feel him out a bit.”
The more success Soldic had, the more he lunged in with powerful strikes. And toward the end of the first frame, Kadestam was ready to put the next phase of his plan into action.
“The Bandit” used his elbows to work inside his opponent’s stinging left hands and came close to shaving the beard of the 28-year-old sensation. However, none landed hard enough to deter “Robocop,” who resumed his charge when round two got underway.
Still, it didn’t take long for Kadestam’s patience to pay dividends. After some early exchanges, Soldic loaded up on a long left hook to the body – only to meet a devastating left elbow on the way in.
Kadestam said of that fight-changing strike:
“I worked on elbows the whole camp because I thought he was going to be in my space a lot, and I needed my privacy (laughs).
“I saw a video on the way to the arena with a beautiful counter left elbow, and I told my coach, ‘This one is going to land. Look at this.'”
With his opponent rocked, “The Bandit” did not let up.
He turned up the dial and chased “Robocop” to the Circle Wall with a barrage of punches, never letting up even when his rival bit down on his mouthpiece and tried to return fire.
From there, the Swede had the upper hand and the clearer head. He connected with a thunderous right hand that put Soldic down again, and when the durable Croatian somehow managed to stand once more, a right cross-left hook combination sealed the deal at 0:45 of round two.
Kadestam Ready For Interim World Title Shot: ‘I Will Fight Anyone’
Following his third consecutive knockout win – bumping his total to an incredible 13 KOs in 15 MMA victories – Zebaztian Kadestam officially earned a shot at the ONE Interim Welterweight World Title.
But as usual, the former divisional king isn’t going to pick and choose. No matter what match he’s offered, he’ll bring his signature blend of crushing offense into battle.
The 32-year-old fan favorite said:
“I’m not really sure what’s next. I will fight anyone at any time, and I have proved that so many times. I took the long road back to the World Title.”
While they might not meet for the World Title, there is one man that Kadestam feels he has unfinished business with.
“The Bandit” was due to face Hiroyuki “Japanese Beast” Tetsuka back in January 2022 until illness forced him out of the bout at late notice.
Tetsuka then picked up his second stoppage win in a row against replacement opponent Edson Marques, and Kadestam is eager to settle the score with another renowned knockout artist.
“I still want to fight ‘Japanese Beast.’ He said he is a better striker than me, so he has to come and prove it.”