3 Reasons To Keep A Close Eye On American Muay Thai Sensation Luke Lessei

Luke Lessei Eddie Abasolo ONE Fight Night 19 6

Luke “The Chef” Lessei is only two fights into his ONE Championship career, but he’s already cemented himself as a fan favorite.

Following a pair of barnburners against “Smokin” Jo Nattawut and Eddie “Silky Smooth” Abasolo, the surging American will return for another enticing battle against Bampara Kouyate at ONE Fight Night 23: Ok vs. Rasulov on Prime Video in U.S. primetime on Friday, July 5.

The pair will duke it out in a key featherweight Muay Thai clash at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, and it’s another chance for Lessei to win over supporters with his thrilling brand of striking.  

Here are three reasons why fans should keep a close eye on the 28-year-old rising star.

#1 He’s America’s Top Male Muay Thai Export 

Currently ranked #5 in ONE’s stacked featherweight Muay Thai division, Lessei is already considered America’s leading male Muay Thai competitor just eight bouts into his professional career. 

“The Chef” earned that reputation when he defeated his compatriot Abasolo in his last outing, and he can further solidify it with a victory at ONE Fight Night 23.

After all, his opponent, Kouyate, is a decorated WMC Muay Thai World Champion who boasts a phenomenal 34-2 professional record, giving the Iowa native a chance to continue his rapid upward trajectory.  

For his part, Lessei is just 7-1 as a pro so far, but those numbers are deceiving due to his long amateur career of more than 60 fights. Now, he’s looking to prove himself against the best of the best in ONE and become a true icon of the sport for his nation.

#2 His Style Is Exciting 

Lessei’s ONE record stands at 1-1 on paper, but that doesn’t tell the full story of his performances.

“The Chef” delivered one of 2023’s most exciting battles against multiple-time ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title challenger Nattawut, pushing the legendary striker to his limit over three intense rounds. 

“Smokin” Jo’s power has forced many of the planet’s top fighters to go on the back foot, but Lessei stood in the pocket and traded punches and elbows for nine wild minutes, ultimately dropping the tight decision. 

Returning against Abasolo in February, the all-American clash offered up another early Fight of the Year candidate, with both men hitting the canvas but continuing to attack until the final bell.  

There’s barely been a second of rest in Lessei’s output during his time in ONE Championship, and fans should expect more of the same against Kouyate. 

#3 He Can Finish Fights From Anywhere 

Though his lanky frame doesn’t immediately scream power, Lessei has a strong track record of finishing his opponents inside the distance.  

With five stoppages and a 71 percent knockout rate so far, the Dubuque Martial Arts Group representative has serious venom in his shots. 

And worryingly for his opponents, he’s not just a one-trick pony.  

Some fighters have a single weapon that can do serious damage, but “The Chef” has finished his rivals with punches, high kicks, body shots, and elbows. This means his KO potential can come from any range, which makes for nonstop excitement.  

Even though he hasn’t earned a stoppage win yet in ONE, Lessei put Abasolo on the canvas and rocked the durable Nattawut with his punches several times. 

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