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Rising MMA star Victoria Lee passes away

Victoria Lee passed away at age 18. ONE Championship (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—In a heartbreaker to start 2023 in mixed martial arts, rising star Victoria Lee has passed away.

Older sister Angela confirmed on Sunday that the 18-year-old unbeaten ONE Championship prospect died last Boxing Day.

"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. She has gone too soon and our family has been completely devastated since then," Lee-Pucci said in an Instagram statement. "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 third member of the Lee Family to join ONE after Angela and Christian.

Victoria Lee debuted on Feb. 26, 2021, at ONE 129: Fists of Fury, submitting Sunisa Srisan via rear-naked choke.

Lee would end the year with a 3-0 record, all via finishes, including a triangle armbar submission against Wang Luping and a knockout victory against Victoria Souza.

Lee took the entire 2022 off to focus on her studies but was supposed to return on Saturday at ONE on Prime Video 6 with a showdown against Zeba Bano.

"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 godmother/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," Pucci further said

She continued, "Each and every little thing makes me think of you. From the sun's 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."

Pucci did not divulge the real reason for her sister's passing and has asked for "grace and respect during this most difficult time."

She also asked her followers to at their loved one's welfare.

"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 statement concluded.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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