5 Facts About Muay Thai Phenom Bampara Kouyate Before He Faces Luke Lessei At ONE Fight Night 23

Bampara Kouyate Shakir Al Tekreeti ONE Fight Night 15 45

Bampara “Bambi Firelek” Kouyate will soon return to the ring with his trademark flair at ONE Fight Night 23 on Prime Video

The 29-year-old rising star is set to face American sensation Luke “The Chef” Lessei in a featherweight Muay Thai clash live in U.S. primetime on Friday, July 5, and he’s hoping to take his opponent’s #5 spot in the divisional rankings.

Following a competitive decision loss in his first promotional appearance last October, Kouyate will have a big opportunity to face a man whose popularity has exploded in the past year.  

Get to know “Bambi Firelek” with these five fast facts before he battles Lessei at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. 

#1 He’s A Frenchman Plying His Trade In Thailand 

Kouyate was born and raised in France with Malian heritage, and that’s where he first found Muay Thai.  

Initially training at Biga Muay Thai Club in Issy-les-Moulineaux in Paris, “Bambi Firelek” forged his name as one of his nation’s leading competitors.

He then took his career to the next level with training trips to Pattaya, Thailand, where he hones his craft under ONE veteran Mehdi Zatout

Being in the homeland of Muay Thai, Kouyate got the chance to compete on the elite stadium circuit in Bangkok, and he now represents both his home gym and Team Mehdi Zatout.  

#2 His Strength Came From His Weakness 

With a reputation as a slick, technical fighter, Kouyate cites his intelligence as his greatest asset in the ring. 

However, he believes this came out of necessity, as he recalls being thin and weak when he first took up “the art of eight limbs.” 

To make up for this disadvantage, “Bambi Firelek” had to rely on his technique to outsmart more athletic teammates and opponents.  

Now that his physicality has caught up with his fight IQ, Kouyate is a serious force in the sport. 

#3 He’s Already A Muay Thai World Champion 

Kouyate has achieved huge success in the striking world, beginning with national titles before grabbing the WMC European Title. 

And just last month, the 29-year-old added his biggest accolade to date when he won the WMC Muay Thai World Title in his native France.  

Full of confidence following this massive victory, “Bambi Firelek” wants to bring that momentum into his matchup with the highly ranked Lessei on July 5. 

#4 He Owns An Incredible Professional Record 

Kouyate boasts an impressive slate of 34-2 ahead of his clash with “The Chef” in Bangkok.  

The Frenchman’s win ratio is impeccable, with his only two defeats coming via decision in Thailand.  

It also gives him a massive experience advantage over Lessei’s 7-1 mark, which should help him stay composed on his hunt for his first ONE win. 

#5 He’s A Model For Major Brands

Outside of Muay Thai, Kouyate is a sought-after model who has worked for some high-end brands.  

He’s just as comfortable walking down the ramp to the ring as he is strutting down a catwalk during Milan Fashion Week. 

But it’s not always plain sailing combining the two careers, as “Bambi Firelek” has been forced to cancel bookings after sustaining bruises through training and competing in one of the world’s toughest sports.  

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