Following a three-round war with Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong, Eddie Abasolo knows he can compete with the elite of ONE Championship's featherweight Muay Thai division. At ONE Fight Night 19, he is ready to try his hand at knocking off 5-ranked Luke Lessei.
When he makes his walk to the ring on Friday, February 16, Abasolo won't be thinking of his last match. The Californian will be looking to showcase his skills against a fellow American.
"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."
Lessei will not be catching Abasolo by surprise. "Silky Smooth" has been watching the Iowan compete for several years and knows what talents he brings to the table.
And with it being an All-American matchup, he feels like the sport will continue to grow after they see what kind of performance both men will put forth in Bangkok.
"Years ago, after watching Luke and a couple of his fights, I knew I was going to fight him sometime down the road. You know what I mean? And it's here, so I'm just excited about that. It's definitely a fight that not just the U.S., but the world, is going to remember," Abasaolo stated.
Abasolo is gunning for the victory, but he is not stepping foot inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium with any expectations. After past experiences gave him unexpected results, he will react to what Lessei brings when the bell rings.
"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," the American admitted.
"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."
Abasolo was adamant that if he picked up the win, he would seek a ranked opponent in the top three. He believes his name is already floating around the division's top five, and knocking off #5-ranked Lessei will supplant him in the official ONE athlete rankings.
While taking it one bout at a time, Abasolo knows this match has major implications in his search for ONE gold.
"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 said.
ONE Fight Night 19 airs live on Friday, February 16, on Prime Video. The action gets underway at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST and is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers based in the U.S. and Canada.