Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam has accepted he is the underdog for his upcoming bout.
The Stockholm, Sweden, native is replacing Vuyisile Colossa on two weeks’ notice to duel former title challenger Luis “Sapo” Santos, a veteran with over 60 victories under his belt. The bout takes place at ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES on Friday, 26 May, in Singapore.
At 63-9-1 (1 NC), Santos is one of the most battle-hardened competitors on the planet today. While Kadestam’s 8-3 looks impressive, his record is dwarfed by the impressive slate of his upcoming adversary.
It looks like everything is stacked against the Swede, but he does not see it that way. According to him, having no pressure and no expectation makes him even more dangerous.
“This is my shot to take a big step towards my dream in just one night, and I like my chances a lot,” he states. “I will show I belong in there with the best.”
Sometimes confidence can be misplaced, but “The Bandit” is indeed bringing a formidable skill set to the cage. Besides possessing the “hunger, heart and faith in my skills”, he also has a PXC Welterweight Championship, 10-3 Muay Thai record, and WBC Muay Thai belt to his credit, which explains how six of his eight mixed martial arts victories have come by way of TKO.
With that kind of killer instinct, the Swede can be dangerous against anybody on the feet. He pulls no punches when he says that is where he wants to match to take place.
“I would rather go out on my feet than roll around on the ground,” he says, although that may not be his choice to make against judo and BJJ black belt Santos, who has submitted 13 of his opponents.
With that said, the Brazilian is not afraid to go toe-to-toe either, and has 36 TKO victories of his own over his storied 17-year career. He clearly has the wider arsenal available to him, and there are not many welterweights in the world "Sapo” would back down from in the stand-up exchanges.
This is exactly why Kadestam could be right when he predicts their bout could be one of the night’s most fascinating encounters. If Santos chooses to engage in a striking war, fireworks are to be expected.
“I wish I could sit there with some popcorn and watch this fight myself,” he adds, excitedly. “It is going to be a war!”