The death of ONE Championship prodigy Victoria Lee on Dec. 26, 2022 has shocked the mixed martial arts community around the world, as her passing was announced by her older sister, Angela, on Jan. 7. She was 18.
The younger Lee introduced herself to the MMA world when she debuted at age 17, the youngest female MMA fighter to turn professional, and won via rear-naked choke against Sunisa Srisan.
She also won against two more opponents and she was expected to see action in Bangkok, Thailand on Jan. 14.
Lee was the younger sister of ONE Championship world champions Victoria and Christian.
The siblings are also managed by their father, Ken.
Soon as Angela broke the news about the passing of her sister, MMA champions and personalities across all promotions, including the famed Team Lakay, extended their condolences to the Lee family.
“She has gone too soon and our family has been completely devastated since then. We miss her more than anything in this world. Our family will never be the same. Life will never be the same,” Angela wrote in her Instagram account.
“Victoria was the most beautiful soul who ever lived. She was the best little sister in the world. The best daughter, the best granddaughter and the best godma/aunty to Ava and Alia,” Angela added.
ONE Championship top honcho Chatri Sityodtong also paid tribute to Victoria through the promotion’s social media accounts.
“I am heartbroken by Victoria Lee’s passing. I first met Victoria when she was 11 years old. I watched her blossom over the years as a martial artist and a human being. I always remember thinking how wise, thoughtful, and selfless she was beyond her years. Of course, she was an extraordinary martial arts prodigy even back then, but I could see that she was so much more than that. Victoria had the purest heart of gold and a brilliant mind. She looked after others before herself. She wanted to use her life to help the world,” Sityodtong said in a statement.
While the cause of Victoria’s death has not been reported, Angela’s statement may suggest something for others to ponder on.
“Please give our family grace and respect during this most difficult time. And please, check on your loved ones. Keep checking on them. Give them hugs and tell them how much they mean to you. You just never know,” Angela said in her closing statement. – Harley F. Palangchao