The tributes are pouring in for ONE Championship’s Victoria Lee

Victoria Lee
MMA prospect Victoria Lee has passed away at the age of 18.
ONE championship

IMPORTANT POINTS

  • The MMA industry has shown respect for Victoria Lee and her family
  • Lee died at the age of 18
  • She was touted as a future MMA world champion

Described as ‘The Next Big Thing’ in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), tributes have poured in from the who’s who of the industry since the unfortunate news of Victoria Lee’s sudden passing broke on Saturday 7th January.

Victoria’s shocking passing at the age of 18 was first confirmed by her older sister, Angela Lee, through a lengthy post on Instagram. But the cause of her death is still unknown at the time of writing.

Per Angela’s public statement, Victoria last died on December 26, 2022.

“Every little thing makes me think of you. From the rays of the sun to the sunset. You taught us to see the beauty in the simple things. You were our bright light. Our sunshine. And that will never change. You were perfect in every ways. The best person I knew. The most beautiful girl, inside and out. We love you, Victoria. I love you, Sprout. Until the end of time,” Angela wrote.

“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,” she added later.

Their mother, Jewelz, posted several photos of Victoria on her personal Facebook profile in late December, which could have already hinted at her daughter’s passing.

An obituary posted at Valley of the Temples Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Kanahe, Hawaii said a celebration of her life is planned for Jan. 22 before her funeral.

Victoria had a professional MMA record of 3-0 with two wins via submission and one by knockout.

Fans and experts alike believed she had the talent to become an MMA world champion, just like siblings Angela and Christian Lee who are well-regarded title holders under the ONE Championship banner.

Victoria was remembered by an emotional Chatri Siytodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship.

“I am devastated 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 as a person. I always remember thinking how wise, thoughtful and selfless she was beyond her years ,” Chatri wrote on Facebook.

“Of course she was an extraordinary martial arts prodigy even back then, but I could see 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 spend her life to help the world. I will always remember Victoria for the beautiful and precious soul she was.”

Filipino MMA superstar Eduard Folayang also paid tribute to Victoria and her family.

“Life is like a mist that appears for a little while and then disappears. Rest in peace, Victoria Lee,” Folayang said.

Aung La N Sang – the former ONE middleweight and welterweight champion – also expressed his heartfelt condolences on social media.

“My heart breaks for the Lee family. I have so much respect and admiration for them. This news about Victoria broke my heart,” expressed the Burmese MMA icon.

Several members of the ONE Championship roster soon followed suit, sending their sympathies to the Lee clan.

Victoria first turned heads when she made her professional debut by submitting Sunisa Srisan with a rear naked choke in the second round at ONE: Fists of Fury in February 2021.

She then rounded out 2021 with two more victories, prompting Wang Luping to gratefully tap an extended triangle armbar at ONE: Battleground in July before stopping Victoria Souza by second-round TKO at ONE: Revolution in September.

Victoria was initially withdrawn to fight at ONE Fight Night 6 in Bangkok, Thailand on January 14 (January 13 in the US) against India’s Zeba Bano in a three-round atomweight bout.

Victoria Lee
Victoria Lee
photo: screenshot from ONE Championship

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