Fifth-ranked featherweight contender Luke Lessei and rising star Eddie Abasolo will try to steal the show in Bangkok after suffering losses to “Smokin” Jo Nattawut and Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong, respectively, in their last matches.
As he prepares to step on to the ONE stage for the fourth time, Abasolo assures everyone he has put the last showing behind him and is motivated to scrap with his fellow countryman.
“I feel like going into this fight, it’s just another fight. You know, it’s not a rebound off of our last fight for me personally. I can only speak for myself. I can’t speak for him, but I feel like this fight is different,” Abasolo told ONE.
“Because we’re both two dudes from the U.S. who do what we do very well. We just so happen to be in the same weight class, so it’s just a matter of seeing who’s the smoothest.”
“Silky Smooth” believes his match with Lessei will be one of the most entertaining of the evening and guarantees all fans will remember it. Those may be lofty claims, but it’s the fascinating clash of styles that has brought him to his conclusions.
Familiar with “The Chef,” Abasolo is ready to take the wherever it needs in order to deliver a showcase of what American Muay Thai can be on a global stage.
“Man, I can’t even call it. I can’t call it. Because realistically, my last two fights, especially for ONE, I’ve expected certain things, and the rhythm wasn’t what I expected as far as pace goes. I didn’t expect my last fight to be a banger like it was with Sitthichai, but that’s what it turned into,” he pontificated.
“Basically, anywhere that it goes, I’ll be ready to go there. Regardless if it’s fast-paced. Regardless if it’s slow-paced. If we really go for it, I’m going to be game.”
But the matchup is more than just a showing of American talent. Its impact on the division itself will be felt no matter who wins.
Abasolo feels he is already close to the top of the division, so knocking off Lessei will set him on a path to square off with other top contenders later this year.
“So, I feel like I’m floating up there, but my name just isn’t on paper, you know? So, for me, I’m floating up there with the top five, if not top three. I feel like, regardless of whether my name is on paper or not, I’m gonna be put up there, and I’m gonna be put up against the best,” the featherweight contender said.
“Top two or three – three at most depending on how the performance goes [at ONE Fight Night 19] and the performance after that. But I’m just going to enjoy it. One fight at a time, you know.”
With an emphasis on the stylistic clash and the heavy ramifications it holds, Abasolo and Lessei are set for a showdown that could have a major impact on the landscape of Muay Thai in America.
ONE Fight Night 19airs live on Prime Video on Friday, Feb. 16. The action begins at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST and is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.
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