Zebaztian Kadestam made a statement in his ONE Championship debut last year, running through former title contender Luis Santos on short notice.

That victory propelled Kadestam into a fight with champion Ben Askren.

Now, full removed from both a win and a loss, Kadestam returns to the cage this coming Friday against another former title contender in Agilan Thani at ONE: Pursuit of Power.

“I do not think I have ever fought like that before. I was waiting and waiting because I could feel his power, especially in the first two minutes. He had power in everything. He was fast in his hands and knees. My plan was to attack a lot more, but I could also see him gas early,” Kadestam said of his victory over Santos. “Coming into this bout, I have a renewed confidence now. Surely, I am training hard. I am motivated to show the world that I am worthy to compete on an international stage like ONE Championship.”

With Askren having announced his retirement from MMA, Kadestam wants to be the next man to carry the welterweight strap in ONE.

“I have dreams of really becoming a world champion in this wonderful sport someday, and I am coming and willing to work for it,” he said. “I am no pushover. I am not someone’s footstool. The belt will soon be mine. The bigger the obstacle, the greater the glory. I am here to fulfill my destiny.”

ONE: Pursuit of Power takes place from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia features Jo Nattawut vs. Yohann Fairtex in a Muay Thai fight, with Thani and Kadestam being one semifinal in the welterweight grand prix. Santos takes on Tyler McGuire in the other semifinal contest.