Victoria Lee will be honored every year after her tragic passing in Dec. 2022.
ONE Championship held its first event following the 18-year-old 115-pound Atomweight prospect’s death this past weekend (Jan. 13, 2023). Promotional Chairman, Chatri Sityodtong, emotionally addressed the matter during the opening of the main card on Prime Video alongside commentator, Brent Stover.
Going forward, ONE intends on keeping the memory of Lee alive as every Jan. 14 will be known as “Victoria Lee Day.”
“I didn’t have anything prepared or planned,” Sityodtong told South China Morning Post. “I knew that he (Stover) was going to ask me about Victoria, but I didn’t know I was going to address the stadium or the viewership around the world.
“I just spoke from the heart. It’s still rough,” he continued. “I just talked on messenger with [Lee’s mother] Jewelz and [elder brother] Christian. I’m in daily contact with the family, and I’m thinking now that Jan. 14 is probably going to be ‘Victoria Lee Day’ forever with ONE Championship.”
Lee began her professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career in 2021 and went unbeaten in all three of her fights that year, finishing her first two opponents by submission and the last via technical knockout. The Lee family and ONE Championship have been synonymous with each other since the eldest siblings, Angela and Christian, made their respective debuts in 2015. They’ve each gone on to become accomplished champions and currently hold Atomweight, Lightweight, and Welterweight gold.
“Angela and I are figuring out a way to [honor Victoria],” Sityodtong said. “Is it a scholarship? Is it an award? What is it exactly we want to communicate? But the legacy Victoria left behind is one of kindness, selflessness, authenticity, generosity, and a desire to do good in the world.
“That’s something we want to keep alive and use our platform so that it echoes,” he concluded. “I want to help the family channel their pain into something Victoria would be proud of, so her impact on the world is something she would have envisioned, that’s kind of my mindset right now.”