‘Nobody Can Match My Ability To Adapt’ – Luke Lessei Eager To Showcase His Skills In ONE Debut Against Jo Nattawut

Luke Lessei

American sensation Luke “The Chef” Lessei is ready to make waves in his highly anticipated ONE debut against “Smokin” Jo Nattawut.

On December 8 in U.S. primetime, the rising star from Iowa will throw down with #4-ranked Nattawut in a featherweight Muay Thai clash at ONE Fight Night 17: Kryklia vs. Roberts on Prime Video.

Facing the legendary Thai knockout artist is not only the biggest opportunity of Lessei’s professional career but also his chance to showcase his uniquely entertaining style on the global stage.

The 27-year-old is already familiar with Nattawut and his reputation as a heavy hitter, although he isn’t particularly concerned about dealing with that type of firepower.

He told onefc.com

“I’ve been watching ‘Smokin’ Jo for a long time. I remember watching him years ago, and I was like, ‘Damn, ‘Smokin’ Jo has such a good left kick. He’s got such a great no-switch left kick.’ And he still has that kick to this day. 

“Other than that, obviously, he hits hard. He hits crazy hard. But I don’t think that’s something fighters really worry about unless you’re up there with heavyweight, talking Francis Ngannou-type power. I’m not gonna worry about power because everyone can hit hard.”

Fans seeing Lessei compete for the first time are in for a treat.

Long and lanky for his weight class, the American striker is a masterfully creative technician who’s capable of fighting equally well from both close and long range.

For that reason, he expects to hold a tactical edge over Nattawut:

“I have this ability to adapt on the fly very quickly, and I know nobody can match my ability to adapt and do things as fast as I can. If you want to elbow, if you want to punch, if you want to kick, if you want to have a defensive battle, I’m good with any of that. 

“The advantage that I think I’m gonna have is the creativity. The creativity I don’t think is matched with me, and I think that’s gonna be the advantage in this fight.”

Ultimately, perhaps the most dangerous part of Lessei’s game is his unpredictability and the variety of attacks he can unleash.

He explained:

“I’m ‘The Chef,’ so I mix it up as much as I can. And I think that’s gonna play a huge factor because when you’re getting all this information thrown at you – and this goes for anybody – it’s gonna be hard to handle.”

Lessei Says Nattawut Is Facing ‘More Pressure’ In Their Matchup

This clash at ONE Fight Night 17 pits Luke Lussei – a rising star making his promotional debut – against Jo Nattawut – a grizzled veteran with a world-renowned reputation and a top-five ranking in the featherweight Muay Thai division.

Naturally, both men know that a victory would be massive for their respective futures in the organization.

But while Lessei has incredibly high expectations for himself, he says he’ll be coming into the showdown with less weight on his shoulders:

“If I’m thinking about it in my own head, I have more pressure just because I’m putting it on myself. This is just my own thoughts. I’m like, ‘All the pressure is on me. I have to win my first fight in ONE.’ 

“But I really have nothing to lose. A lot of people maybe don’t even know who I am. I’m just this [foreign] kid from Iowa who’s coming to fight Jo Nattawut. I think people might consider that an upset if I win – when I win.”

By that same token, “The Chef” believes that most of the pressure lies with his veteran opponent.

He added:

“He has more pressure on him because he has to be, for lack of a better term, a gatekeeper. He can’t let this young [American] boy, new generation, come in and take what he’s been doing here for how long.

“So I think overall, more pressure is on him, but in my mind, all the pressure is on me because it’s the biggest fight of my life so far.”

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