MMA fighter Victoria Lee dies: A closer look at the Lee siblings
For many mixed martial arts (MMA) fans here, the Lee siblings are synonymous with the sport.
Fighting under Singapore-based mixed martial arts organisation One Championship, Angela Lee, 26, was first in the family to make her name here, before she was followed by 24-year-old Christian and 18-year-old Victoria, who died on Boxing Day in 2022.
Victoria’s death, which was announced by Angela via social media on Sunday, has shocked fans and the fraternity.
Their youngest brother, Adrian Lee, 17, is also set to follow in the footsteps of his siblings, as he came out victorious in his first amateur MMA title fight held in Hawaii in December 2022.
Here are eight things to know about the Lee siblings.
1. They were born in North America but fight under the Singapore flag
Angela and Christian were born in Vancouver Canada, and younger sister Victoria was born in Waipahu, a town in Hawaii, to Singaporean father Ken Lee and South Korean mother, Jewelz Lee. The family currently lives in Hawaii.
Angela Lee said in a facebook post in 2016: “Though I may not have a Singaporean passport, or a PR status here, my Singaporean roots reside deep within me and make up who I am. I am so proud to be able to represent my culture and my family. I am proud to represent Singapore!”
2. Their parents introduced them to martial arts
The couple are decorated martial artists. Ken Lee holds black belts in three different martial arts, including a first degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, while Jewelz holds a 5th Degree Hapdosool master black belt.
Ken is currently the owner and head coach of United MMA gym in Hawaii and often trains with his children.
3. Angela was the youngest MMA champion at 19
In 2016, Angela Lee’s win over Japan’s Mei Yamaguchi for the One women’s atomweight belt made her the youngest fighter at the time to win a world title at 19 years of age. She has since retained her title five times, against rivals such as China’s Xiong Jingnan and Thailand’s Stamp Fairtex.
4. Christian is the One athlete who has recorded the most wins and knockouts
With a win-loss record of 17-4, Christian has recorded more wins than any other One athlete, and bagged his 12 wins through knockout.
5. Angela is One Championship’s first “mum-champ”
Angela made a triumphant return to the ring after a two-year hiatus and the birth of her first child, Ava Marie, in March 2022 as she successfully defended her atomweight title against challenger Fairtex.
She celebrated with her daughter in the ring after a fight which ended in the second round as Fairtex submitted after Angela locked her in a rear-naked choke.
6. Christian holds One championship titles in two weight divisions
Christian, nicknamed “The Warrior”, recovered his One Championship lightweight world title from South Korea’s Ok Rae Yoon in August 2022 via a technical knockout in the second round.
In November 2022, Christian dethroned Kiamrian Abbasov to add the welterweight world title to his collection, becoming a two-division One world champion in the process.
7. Victoria had a perfect record of 3-0
2021 was a monumental year for the fighter, nicknamed “The Prodigy”, as all three of her fights ended in finishes – two submissions against Thailand’s Sunisa Srisen and China’s Wang Luping and her first technical knockout in her last rodeo against Brazil’s Victoria Souza.
8. Victoria was set to return to the ring after her 2022 hiatus on Jan 13
Victoria, who graduated high school in 2022, had her next match set for Friday against India’s Zeba Bano at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Her last match was in September 2021, before she took a hiatus of over 15 months.