Swedish welterweight Zebaztian Kadestam became the Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) 170-pound champion with a win last weekend, which takes him to 6-1 overall and immediately established him as one of Scandinavia's top prospects and a potential future UFC signing.
Kadestam took on Josh Calvo, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt from the U.S., and claimed a hard fought decision victory which came courtesy of some solid takedown defense, as well as the onslaught of kicks for which he is becoming renowned.
It was the first title of his career and he says he was relieved when, after 25 minutes of action in the main event at PXC 44, the judges rendered him the winner.
"It feels great and it just shows that hard work pays off. I knew I had the fight, I think I won all five rounds, but I was still nervous about the decision cause you never know with some judges. I have had real shitty decisions against me in the past."
The last fighter to own the PXC welterweight title was Hyun Gyu Lim and within a month of winning the belt, he had been signed by the UFC. The route from the Guam based promotion to the Octagon is well trodden and Kadestam hopes to follow it,
"The UFC is on my mind and I'm hoping to get the call. If I do, I will be ready."
Former PXC fighters currently competing for the UFC include Michinori Tanaka, Louis Smolka, Dustin Kimura, and Jon Tuck so it would not come as a major surprise if Kadestam did find himself fielding a phone call from Joe Silva in the not too distant future.
The most notable Swedish fighter is, of course, top light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson, who has come closer than any man alive to bettering current UFC champion Jon Jones (Matt Hamill's DQ win notwithstanding).
Kadestam has been following the career of his compatriot and believes Gustafsson has what it takes to prevail in the eagerly anticipated rematch,
"MMA is getting big in Sweden, we got tons of good fighters. I think we will have a UFC champion real soon when Alexander beats Jones. I got a lot of support from Sweden and very thankful for that, I really need to get home and fight."
Kadestam's seven MMA fights have all taken place in Asia and so far he has fought once in Taiwan, Thailand, Guam, and China and three times in the Philippines. He's yet to taste competition in his homeland and says he has been living and training in the East for the best part of four years,
"I came to Thailand 2010 because my grappling coach in Sweden sent me to Legacy Gym in Ubon Ratchathani to work on my Muay Thai and MMA game and I just loved it there and got accepted into the fight team and been around ever since."
Prior to his PXC title win last weekend, all of Kadestam's previous victories had come by way of stoppage and he has two head kick finishes on his record. The Swedish Muay Thai specialist feels it is one factor which might be in his favor as he hopes for that UFC call up.
"I'm hoping my style makes people want to watch me. That's why I fight, I want people to enjoy a good fight."
Kadestam is hoping to continue to compete regularly regardless of whether he ends up defending his PXC belt or signing with the UFC. "The Bandit," as he is known, is slowly but surely working his way up the welterweight rankings and wants to finish with the following message.
"I just want to thank all my friends and family for your endless support and to Legacy Gym and all my trainer partners and trainers. And my sponsors, 2Go Travel, Pocari Sweat, Groundskillz fight wear, Boracay Sun, Stronglab.se, and Prey MMA."