Top welterweight contenders Zebaztian Kadestam and Tyler McGuire faced off ahead of their main event fight at ONE: Warrior’s Dream this weekend from Jakarta, Indonesia.
The two will meet for the title, which was left vacant when Ben Askren retired. Askren has since signed with the UFC to compete for the promotion beginning in 2019.
Kadestam, a 28-year-old from Sweden, is 10-4 in his career with eight wins via knockout and one more via submission. He rebounded from a loss to Askren with a third round finish of Agilan Thani this past July.
“I feel extremely confident heading into this next bout. I have learned many lessons from my experience in competing for the title against Ben Askren a year ago,” Kadestam said. “Now, I have come out as a much improved martial artist. There are a lot of things that I can still improve on, and I’m getting better everyday. I’ve been training hard, and I feel good, so I feel confident in this fight. Tyler McGuire is a strong guy with good stamina. The first couple of rounds is going to be tough, so I have to be careful.
“He’s going to try to take me down, but I’ve prepared my defense well. Then it’s just a matter of going out there and having fun. I’m used to things being rough and tough. I’ve never had an easy fight in my whole career.”
McGuire, a native of Washington, is a perfect 11-0 with eight stoppage wins. He won his ONE debut with a decision victory in July over former title challenger Luis Santos.
“To receive the opportunity to win a world title in ONE Championship is an absolute honor. It means you are among the world’s best,” McGuire said. “I have prepared very hard for this fight, and now I want to showcase the results of my hard work. Zebaztian Kadestam is a real tough guy, and I know he’s going to come to fight. That’s exactly what I want and I don’t expect anything less. I know he thinks I can’t hurt him with my striking, but my striking is underrated. Let’s see. I consider myself a complete martial artist. Of course, my main arsenal is still my ground game, and if there is an opportunity to take him down, I’ll maximize it. But if we are going to stand up and trade, then I’m prepared for that.”