Victoria Lee, a rising mixed martial artist who competed under the ONE Championship promotion, died last month, her sister Angela Lee announced on Saturday. Lee was 18 years old.
No cause of death was given.
Angela Lee said Victoria Lee died on Dec. 26 as she mourned ‘the most beautiful soul’ in a message on Instagram.
“She has gone too soon and our family has been completely devastated since then,” Angela Lee said. “We miss her. More than anything in this world. Our family will never be the same. Life will never be the same.
“We miss you so much sis. More than you could ever realise. We’re all broken. Because a piece of you was in each of us and when you left, those pieces were ripped out of us. We will never be the same.”
Victoria Lee followed in her older siblings’ footsteps when she signed with ONE Championship in 2020. Sister Angela Lee is the current atomweight champion while brother Christian Lee holds the lightweight championship.
ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong praised the then-16-year-old prodigy as the “single greatest pound-for-pound female prospect in the world.”
She had a 3-0 professional record before her death. Lee made her mixed martial arts debut in 2021, defeating Sunisa Srian by rear-naked choke. She last fought in September 2021 as she balanced mixed martial arts and her studies.
Before she made the jump to MMA, Lee was a two-time Pankration champion and won Hawaii’s junior wrestling championship in 2019 and 2020.
“I am heartbroken by Victoria Lee’s passing,” Sityodtong said Saturday. “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. I will always remember Victoria for the beautiful and precious soul that she was.”
This article was originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission