Lovers of Pride FC got a little shot of nostalgia on Friday at ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes, as Swedish welterweight Zebaztian Kadestam completed a thrilling comeback over one-time title challenger Luis Santos thanks to a nasty barrage of grounded knees to the head.
After getting dominated by Santos’ wrestling and top game throughout the first 12 minutes of the fight, Kadestam turned the tide by sprawling a sluggish takedown attempt from the Brazilian, then reversed position and hammered Santos with strikes from side control. A pair of brutal knees to the head put the finishing touches on a comeback that may very well have vaulted Kadestam into immediate title contention as a potential opponent for Ben Askren.
Notably, knees to the head are illegal under the Unified Rules of MMA, which both the UFC and Bellator operate under, however they are allowed in ONE Championship’s modified ruleset, which adopts many aspects from old-school Japanese MMA.
Watch replay of Kadestam’s finish below.