After Epic Debut, Luke Lessei Eager To Make Even Bigger Statement Against Eddie Abasolo

Jo Nattawut Luke Lessei ONE Fight Night 17 81

Iowa native Luke “The Chef” Lessei is planning to bring something special in his much-anticipated featherweight Muay Thai showdown with fellow American striker Eddie “Silky Smooth” Abasolo at ONE Fight Night 19: Haggerty vs. Lobo on Prime Video.

Set to air live in U.S. primetime this Friday, that clash will be each man’s opportunity to get back in the win column following hard-fought decision losses to top Thai superstars.

Last June, Abasolo engaged in an unforgettable three-round war with #2-ranked contender Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong.

And in December, Lessei showcased incredible heart and durability in his Fight of the Year candidate against #3-ranked “Smokin” Jo Nattawut, earning himself the #5 spot in the stacked division.

Despite coming up short, both Americans impressed fans and garnered plenty of respect from the international Muay Thai community.

For his part, “The Chef” recognizes the obvious parallels with Abasolo and told onefc.com that this bout will be for bragging rights:

“Two Americans trying to become the number one American, both coming off of battles against Thai fighters who are ranked. I mean, it’s kind of like this is like America’s best. You really don’t know what could happen in this fight.”

Given his epic slugfest with the notoriously tough Nattawut in his debut, Lessei has erased any doubts that he has what it takes to hang with the planet’s most dangerous strikers.

But while he’s proud of that blood-and-guts performance, the 27-year-old now hopes to showcase the true depth of his technical prowess, honed over a lifetime of training in the “art of eight limbs”:

“I’m not sure what [Abasolo is] thinking, but I know how bad I want to win, and I know how bad I want to change the momentum because I don’t want to be known as the tough, durable guy.

“That’s not how I came up. I came up with clean technique, clean knockouts, efficient setups, and I’m a creator. I like to have created Muay Thai and technical, traditional Muay Thai.”

Now that he’s proven his toughness against a heavy-handed brawler like “Smokin” Jo, Lessei aims to display his unique brand of creative striking against a “Silky Smooth” operator like Abasolo.

Above all, he’s excited to show new supporters and longtime fans alike why he’s made it to the world’s largest martial arts organization:

“They already saw that I’m tough [in my last fight]. I’ve kind of got the people’s champ energy.

“So now I want to show the new fans what I’ve been doing for years, and I want to show the fans that have been around this whole time why they love me, for ‘The Chef’ moves, for all the s*** that they’ve been seeing in my seminars and the Instagram videos and s*** like that. That’s what I’m out to show.”

Lessei Says ‘Toughness And Grit’ Will Lead To Knockout Of Abasolo

Both Luke Lessei and Eddie Abasolo are known for their unorthodox, aesthetically pleasing styles of striking that emphasize movement, adaptability, and creativity.

But according to “The Chef,” what sets him apart from the Californian is his background in small-town Iowa:

“I got this working man mentality. I’ve been working with my hands my whole life – construction, building s***, from the Midwest, the working class, out in the cold, using f****** hammers. 

“We’re both smooth. I’ve been smooth. I have technique. I’m a lifelong martial artist. But who has a little bit more grit? Everybody has grit at this point, but I think I have a little bit more of an edge when it comes to toughness and grit when going against Eddie.”

Unlike his war with Jo Nattawut last time out, Lessei expects a clash of high-IQ technicians at ONE Fight Night 19.

When the chips are down and both men have traded technique for technique, he plans to lean on his mindset to give him the edge:

“I think it’ll be a chess match. I think it’ll be a chess match between the two of us. But I think my power and my Midwest working man mentality will all bring me out on top.”

Confident in his power and unbreakable mind, Lessei is predicting a finish against “Silky Smooth.”

He added:

“I think right now the mindset going into it, the camp I’m having, I think I’m going to get Eddie out of there before three rounds. I think I’ll stop his smoothness and hit him with some combinations that are going to make him suffer. 

“It’ll get called. I think the fight’s going to get called late in the second or in the third round. I’m going to try to put him away.”

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