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Legendary Swedish World Champ makes pro MMA debut at 47: “Been thinking about MMA since I ended my career”



Rickard Nordstrand 1 MMA

Rickard Nordstrand. Photo (@rnordstrand)

Returning Muay Thai world champion and legendary K1 fighter Rickard Nordstrand will make his professional MMA debut at Superior Challenge 27. He will face fellow veteran Papy Abedi in the main event.

Visiting Sweden’s leading podcast about combat sports, Käftsmällspodden, the former world champ talks about learning a new sport, more than a decade after retirement.

“It’s been ten years since I boxed, I’ve been thinking about doing MMA since I stopped. I feel reborn again,” Nordstrand says. “It’s happiness again, it’s fun to train.”

“I’ve been thinking about MMA since I ended my career in 2010, ‘should I’ve done MMA, should I have tested that’. That question has been eating me but now I will finally do it. It will be so much fun.”

A WMC Muay Thai world champ

Very few Scandinavian fighters have the resume as the 47-year-old Swede.

A five-time Swedish Muay Thai champion, WMC Muay Thai World Champion, IFMA Muay Thai World Champion in Muay Thai, bronze medalist in the Kickboxing World championship, it’s fair to say that Nordstrand is one of the best strikers ever coming out of the region.

Now he will take on a new sport, adding wrestling to his outstanding striking skills.

“To learn wrestling and be in the MMA world has been ‘wow’. The first wrestling training was extremely tough mentally. When I left the training it felt like I had run a marathon and written a college exam. I was exhausted, in a positive way,” Nordstrand says.

Rickard Nordstrand challenged Papy Abedi

Rickard Nordstrand challenged Abedi at a previous Superior Challenge event, after watching some fights and having a few drinks.

“When you drink you lose your sense,” Nordstrand jokes. “He accepted the challenge.”

When the promotion’s CEO Babak Ashti reminded the former Muay Thai champion about challenging Abedi, Nordstrand felt like the time was finally right for his long-awaited MMA debut.

“That’s the way it happened and I think it’s fantastic to face someone well-known with a good record. It will be fun and a good fight for the crowd.”

Tickets for Superior Challenge 27 with Rickard Nordstrand can be bought here!

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