Zebaztian “Bandit” Kadestam defends his PXC Welterweight title on March 13, 2015 against Kim Han-Seul in Guam.
The Swede who transplanted himself to the Philippines to pursue a life of fighting has ended up shooting to stardom in a few short years. With a simple record of 6-1, Kadestam has done more to cement his prospect status with his performances of brutal striking and vicious aggression. It earned him the PXC Welterweight Championship in four fights.
Now Kadestam faces another tough opponent, Kim, from another tough team, Korean Top Team. He will be defending his belt for the first time, ironically not in his adopted country of the Philippines, but in PXC’s home island of Guam. ASIA MMA caught up with “Bandit” just before his flight to the fight.
ASIA MMA: You seem pretty pumped up for this fight. What are your feelings about defending your title for the first time?
Kadestam: I haven’t fought in 6 months. I live for fighting, it feels like I’m finally alive again. Defending my title is the same as defending Legacy’s honour which I’m always happy to do
ASIA MMA: You got the title shot because you beat guys with much bigger records. Were these records intimidating?
Kadestam: I love it! I’m going to be the best in the world one day, don’t care how long it takes. Nobody’s record means anything for me unless my win is their loss. The better record, the more glory for us.
ASIA MMA: I seem to remember a picture with you and goats that became an internet sensation for you being the baddest mofo alive. What was that about?
Kadestam: [laughs] Yeah, we’ve got our mascot “Noah” at Legacy Gym in Boracay which been with us for years. She had baby goats so we took a photo before we ate one of the goats for Christmas. It tasted great. Noah is still alive of course.
ASIA MMA: So what made you choose this life in Borucay with Legacy?
Kadestam: Whereever Legacy goes, I go. Who can say no to train on one of the most beautiful islands in the world? It’s a great life in Boracay.
ASIA MMA: A lot of people could say no! What about your home town, your family, your life before?
Kadestam: Always with me deep in my heart and soul. I gotta do what I gotta do, hopefully I can give my family the life everyone dreams of. That’s whats motivates me.
Ole is a great friend and coach and I look up to him. It’s a lot easier to learn from a guy like that.
ASIA MMA: You have only one loss on your record. It says “China regional”. Tell me about that.
Kadestam: Not a loss in my mind. My opponent missed weight by a couple of kilos, even though I took the fight on 2 weeks’ notice and went up to 84kg instead of 77kg, so he weighed in at 87.5kg. But whatever, I fucked up leaving it to the judges in China. 100% my fault. It won’t happen again, and I’m more than happy to do a rematch anytime, anywhere. He is a good guy so I’m not trying to take shit from him. Good work. It just pisses me of every time I think of it.
ASIA MMA: Would you say that was your hardest fight?
Kadestam: No, I have harder fights every day in the gym! I just fought very angry. For different reasons, I made many mistakes and I learned from it, so I guess I gotta thank him.
ASIA MMA: What is a day like in Borucay? Your training schedule plus trips to the beach?
Kadestam: If I have a fight I like to wake up whenever I wake up, no stress. I go down to the beautiful white beach, run, swim then do some sprints or other conditioning drills, then back up to the gym to do my pads or rolling. I get some food then back to sleep, wake up and do some sparring with the team. Every day is great, chill life mixed with hard work.
Is he better than me? We will find out on Friday.
ASIA MMA: Do you like the local food? Do you eat balut?
Kadestam: I love the food but it’s the worst diet ever! [laughs] It makes me fat quick so if there is a fight, I cook for myself. Balut is apparently great for your dick, so of course everybody knows you have to take care of your body right? [laughs]
ASIA MMA: OK, looking at this fight. What do you think the major difference is between you and your opponent?
Kadestam: My Muay Thai as always. Also, I think my ground is better. Nobody knows and everyone is hating on my ground because I never show any of it in the fight. But what the fuck, I like fighting, I don’t like rolling around. But yeah I’m not stupid, I train that too.
ASIA MMA: Now you sound like Ole! What is Ole Laursen like as a coach?
Kadestam: Ole is a great friend and coach and I look up to him. It’s a lot easier to learn from a guy like that. Whatever he says, I do, I don’t have to think about anything.
ASIA MMA: Obviously you guys have studied your opponent so you can know what to expect of him. Do you see any surprises coming out of him?
Kadestam: Let’s see, I think he comes to bang, let’s hope so . He is good, no question about that. Is he better than me? We will find out on Friday.
ASIA MMA: Any sponsors you’d like to shout out?
Kadestam: Alright, as always, let me send out a thanks to GroundSkillz for making the baddests shorts on the planet.