Rising MMA Star Dead at 18
Hawaiian-born mixed martial artist Victoria Lee has died at only 18 years old.
The youngest fighter in ONE Championship, Lee started her professional career at the age of 16. Within the first year of signing on, she had a 3-0 record in ONE.
Lee comes from a family of fighters. Both her sister Angela and her brother Christian are current MMA champions.
Lee's first MMA fight was in February 2021 against Sunisa Srisen of Thailand. She won by submission in Round 2, according to the South China Morning Post.
In July 2021, she faced China's Wang Luping and won by submission again, the Post reported.
Her latest victory was against Victoria Souza of Brazil, who was undefeated until their fight in September 2021.
Before her MMA debut, Lee was a champion in several junior level combat competitions. She was the Hawaiian Pankration Junior World Champion, as well as the IMMAF Wrestling Junior World Champion and Hawaii State wrestling champion, according to Hawaii News Now.
Lee's next fight was scheduled for Jan. 13, where she would have faced India’s Zeba Bano.
Her sister, Angela, broke the news of her death in a Saturday Instagram post.
"On December 26, 2022 our family experienced something no family should ever have to go through … It is incredibly difficult to say this … Our Victoria passed away," Angela wrote.
She continued, "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.
"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.
"We miss you so much sis. More than you could ever realize. 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.
"Each and every little thing makes me think of you. From the sun rays, 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 way. 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."
Her family has not yet made public Lee's cause of death, and they have asked for "grace and respect during this most difficult time."
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.