Victoria Lee, a promising talent in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), has died at age 18, her family confirmed.
Lee died on Dec. 26, leaving her family “completely devastated,” according to a post on her Instagram page.
“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,” the post reads. “You taught us to see the beauty in the simple things. You were our bright light. Our sunshine. And that will never change.”
Lee was born and raised in Hawaii in a family of MMA stars. Her sister, Angela, holds the ONE Championship atomweight world title while her brother, Christian, is the ONE Championship lightweight titleholder, the Guardian reported. ONE Championship is the largest MMA promoter in Asia.
Lee was a rising star in her own right and was hailed as “The Prodigy” for her natural talent at a young age.
She had an undefeated 3-0 professional record since she debuted in 2021. Lee recently took a break from fighting to focus on finishing high school.
Lee’s family did not say how she died.
“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,” the family’s post concludes.
ONE Championship also confirmed Lee’s death on social media, writing that they were “devastated over the tragic passing.”
“We send our most heartfelt condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.”
ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong paid tribute to Lee in a Facebook post.
“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,” Sityodtong wrote.
“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.”
“May you rest in peace, Victoria. We will all miss you.”