‘I’m Trying To Put This Dude To Sleep’ – Luke Lessei Aiming To KO Bampara Kouyate At ONE Fight Night 23

Luke Lessei Eddie Abasolo ONE Fight Night 19 6

American Muay Thai sensation Luke “The Chef” Lessei will soon return to action and showcase his creative brand of striking on ONE’s global platform.

On Friday, July 5, in U.S. primetime at ONE Fight Night 23: Ok vs. Rasulov on Prime Video, he takes on decorated French striker Bampara Kouyate in a featherweight tilt at Bangkok, Thailand’s legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.

Lessei – the #5-ranked featherweight Muay Thai contender – is a master technician, renowned for his dynamic and unorthodox combinations, crafty counter-strikes, and deeply intelligent approach to Muay Thai.

In other words, he is a technical fighter known as a muay femur.

The Iowa native’s opponent, Kouyate, is also a technician, but Lessei is confident he’ll defeat the Frenchman at his own game.

He told onefc.com:

“I’m gonna beat the brakes off this dude. I’m gonna go in there and show that there’s absolutely levels to this creativity and this muay femur game that everyone’s talking about.”

“The Chef’s” first two appearances in ONE were both wildly entertaining battles.

In his promotional debut, he dropped a narrow decision against recent ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title challenger “Smokin” Jo Nattawut in December 2023 at ONE Fight Night 17. But his gutsy performance in that unforgettable three-round war earned him legions of fans around the globe.

Lessei returned just three months later at ONE Fight Night 19, earning a thrilling decision win over fellow American Eddie Abasolo in a fight that saw both men suffer knockdowns.

While he’s proud to have displayed his heart and grit in those bouts, the 28-year-old is excited to engage in a more technical battle at ONE Fight Night 23:

“I’m hoping every fight gets a little more technical because then I can show my actual flight IQ and my skills. My last few fights, I’ve kinda been showing my Midwest mentality, my toughness, good stuff here and there.

“But this guy, Bampara Kouyate, he’s like 6-foot-2, same height as me, a muay femur. So he’s technical. He likes to wait, counter, set up techniques, and that’s the same as me.

“I love a good chess match.”

As much as he’s looking forward to a chess match against Kouyate, make no mistake, Lessei is gunning for the finish.

He said that if everything goes to plan, the judges won’t be needed and he’ll leave Bangkok with his first knockout in ONE:

“I always wanna make the decision on who wins and who loses. My decision, not the judges’. So I’m going for the knockout. Every single time, I’m going for the knockout whether I get it or not.

“You best believe, even until the very end, I’m trying to set something up. I’m trying to put this dude to sleep for sure. And if not, guess what? It’s probably gonna be another barnburner.”

Lessei Confident With Father In His Corner

When Luke Lessei takes on Bampara Kouyate at ONE Fight Night 23, in his corner he’ll have his lifelong coach and mentor – his father.

An accomplished former professional fighter in his own right, Lessei’s father has been training his son in Muay Thai since he was 7 years old.

On July 5, “The Chef” plans to showcase the fruits of two decades of hard work with his father:

“Me and my dad have been working really hard. It’s gonna be a culmination of all the s*** that we’ve been cooking up for years.

“Me and my dad, it’s just me and him going solo. He’s gonna be cornering me out in Thailand. Father and son, we’re gonna beat this guy’s a**.”

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