Swedish Rafael Kveldstad is a red-hot amateur on the European MMA scene.
This past weekend he won the Cage Warriors Academy amateur middleweight title and now the sky’s the limit for the promising Allstar Training Center prospect.
In an exclusive interview with Frontkick, the 21-year-old rising star breaks down the title fight win.
“The first round, I don’t know who won that one, it was a 50/50 round according to my coach. His stand-up game was good, he countered my kicks. But I got him down and ground-and-pounded him,” Kveldstad says. “He definitely won the second round. He brawled and I didn’t get him to the ground.”
“In the third round I thought like ‘Okay, it’s time to finish him’, so I went forward, forward, forward and swung to his head. Then I took him down, mounted him and poured on ground-and-pound until the referee stopped the fight. It was a great experience, the feeling of just keep fighting and grinding until you get the win!”
What does the title mean to you?
“Winning a belt was great, it made me more motivated than ever, and I was happier than ever going into the fight,” Kveldstad says. “The belt helps me build hype, people get to know you when you win a title. They just don’t give anybody a title fight, you know. I guess my name is pretty hyped at the moment, but I don’t think much about it.”
Rafael Kveldstad will turn pro in 2024
2023 has been a busy year for the rising amateur star.
So far the 21-year-old fought seven fights in 10 months, winning a Cage Warriors Academy title and a silver medal at the IMMAF World Cup in February.
“I want to go all the way, become the best version of myself. I want to make it to the top of the UFC, “Kveldstad says. “This is the year I have developed the most so far, this has been my year. From now on it’s just up. Now we go for the IMMAF gold to crown the year. Then I will go pro in 2024.”