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Rising MMA Fighter Dies Suddenly at 18

Sports

Victoria "The Prodigy" Lee | Image by Victoria Lee/Facebook

Junior World Champion and rising mixed martial arts (MMA) star Victoria “The Prodigy” Lee died at the age of 18.

Her sister, fellow MMA fighter Angela Lee, announced in a Saturday Instagram post that Victoria had died on December 26, 2022. She did not share a cause of death.

“She has gone too soon and our family has been completely devastated since then,” the post read in part. “We miss her. More than anything in this world. Our family will never be the same. Life will never be the same.”

Fighting since 2020, Victoria Lee made her professional debut in the women’s atomweight division in February 2021, securing a win in just over a minute. She was undefeated with a 3–0 record, and none of her matches lasted longer than one round.

After earning her third victory in September 2021, Victoria decided to take some time off from fighting and concentrate on graduating high school, which she did in June 2022.

ONE Championship released a brief tweet expressing its condolences.

“The ONE Championship team is devastated over the tragic passing of Victoria Lee. We send our most heartfelt condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.”

ONE Championship chief executive officer Chatri Sityodtong expressed his grief in a Facebook post on Saturday.

“I am heartbroken by Victoria Lee’s passing,” Sityodtong said. “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.”

He described Lee as “wise, thoughtful, and selfless … beyond her years.”

Explaining how Lee was more than a martial arts prodigy, Sityodtong said, “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.”

In conclusion, Sityodtong shared, “I will always remember Victoria for the beautiful and precious soul that she was,” and ended, “May you rest in peace, Victoria. We will all miss you.”

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