Zebaztian Kadestam: “My mental game is stronger than ever”

Kadestam and Sparv Headline PXC 53

 

It’s been more than a year since Zebaztian Kadestam defended his PXC welterweight belt inside the Terror Dome. The Swedish national, training alongside some of the fiercest MMA imports at Legacy Gym Boracay, is actively looking for opportunities to show his wares in and out of the PXC. “I’ve been waiting for a contender,” he told us, “I wish I could fight more often.”

That opportunity came in the form of IRFA back in Sweden, where “The Bandit” lost to Hakon Foss via split decision last September. “They let me fight there [in IRFA] ’cause I wanted to fight at home. To me, I don’t really dwell on the outcome. I’ve been home in Sweden since September, training and spending time with my family. My mental game is stronger than ever.”

PXC has never been the selfish type when it comes to its fighters. In fact, their open door policy in allowing their fighters – champions even – to move to the UFC is probably one of the main reasons why they are attracting a lot of talents in the Asia-Pacific region. A number of their Korean fighters like PXC bantamweight champ Kwan Ho Kwak continue to compete in Top FC.

Kadestam returned to the Philippines late March to complete his training at Legacy Gym Boracay. I wondered how he and the other fighters at Legacy could train – especially at this time of the year – in an island that’s pretty much all about the party. Zebaztian clarifies, “We have the gym up on a hill in Boracay, so we are not in the party zone. But it’s nice to have the option after fights. Of course we don’t party before fights.”

With just two days to go and the fight preparations all done and over with,  we asked Kadestam what he felt was his advantage over Glenn “Teddy Bear” Sparv. “You know how my striking – my kicks in particular – hurt,” a confident Zebaztian replied. “Every fight my opponents say they are ready for it. But when fight night arrives, I see otherwise.” In fact, “The Bandit” holds the rare distinction of earning a stoppage victory due to leg kicks, sending Ronald Jhun limping to his corner at PXC 35 February of 2013.

Sparv is a different beast of course. The Finn trains out of AKA Thailand under UFC veteran Mike “Quick” Swick and is on a five-fight win streak. “Teddy Bear” asserts that he is “ready to bang” with “The Bandit”, which leads us to the inevitable conclusion that these two competitors probably wouldn’t need five whole rounds to finish their business – and finish it painfully at that.

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John Hudson Go is the Editor-in-Chief of MMA Philippines.

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