Luke Lessei pins pressure on Jo Nattawut in ONE Fight Night 17 matchup

By BJPENN.COM Staff - November 29, 2023

Luke Lessei heads into his ONE Championship debut with an intriguing perspective.

Luke Lessei

The 27-year-old American striker makes his maiden promotional appearance at ONE Fight Night 17 on Prime Video. There, he faces “Smokin’” Jo Nattawut in a featherweight Muay Thai clash.

This bout takes place at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, airing live in U.S. primetime on December 8.

Setting foot on the global stage for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience for any competitor, but Lessei approaches it differently.

“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,’” he said.

“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.”

“The Chef” truly believes that he’ll be entering the ring with less weight on his shoulders.

“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,” Lessei said.

“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.”

Luke Lessei knows Jo Nattawut’s style all too well

Luke Lessei is well aware of Jo Nattawut’s reputation as a heavy hitter with a penchant for delivering devastating knockouts.

However, the Iowa native doesn’t seem overly concerned about the firepower he will be up against.

“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,” Lessei.

“I’m not going to worry about power because everyone can hit hard.”

While he respects the reputation that his opponent has built for himself, Lessei remains confident in his abilities to handle the challenge.

“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,” he said.

“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.”


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