MMA fighter Angela Lee 'likely to retire' following death of sister Victoria Lee

“The family is still going through a grieving and healing process and it’s going to take time.”

Kelsy Koh | June 14, 2023, 11:58 AM

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Mixed martial arts fighter Angela Lee is likely to retire from professional fighting.

Some clarity about the defending One Championship atomweight champion's future in the sport was provided by Chatri Sityodtong, CEO of the promotion, who told South China Morning Post about the latest conversation he had with Angela.

The news, reported on Jun. 8, comes less than six months after the death of Angela's sister and fellow MMA fighter Victoria Lee, who passed away on Dec. 26, 2022.

While the cause of her death was not made known to the public, Angela has asked fans to "stop with the conspiracy theories" and speculation.

Lee family “devastated”, “going through a grieving and healing process”

In an interview put up on Jun. 13, Chatri said that while Angela has said she has not “fully decided”, “she just doesn’t have it in her to fight or train anymore”.

He acknowledged that the decision to return to the sport “is a very deeply personal thing” and he has not spoken to Angela about work.

Victoria’s death

Victoria, who was nicknamed “The Prodigy”, died at 18 years old.

This was only two years after she made her debut as a professional One Championship fighter with a 3-0 record.

She was set to return in January 2023, but died on Boxing Day. Angela announced her death on Jan. 8.

Victoria would have turned 19 on May 17.

Angela, who wrote about the passing of her sibling in an Instagram post, said “life will never be the same”.

From a young age, the Lee siblings were coached by their Singaporean father, Ken Lee, and Korean mother at the family’s United MMA gym in Hawaii.

The gym has been permanently closed since January 2023.

Christian Lee could return to fighting

Christian Lee, Victoria’s brother and holder of the lightweight and welterweight titles, is keen to return to training, but will take a break until next year, Chatri also said.

However, he will need to find a new coach as his father, who served as his trainer, has “completely retired” from coaching.

Moving forward, One Championship will crown interim champions in the divisions where Angela and Christian were titleholders.

Chatri said he had asked Christian "for his blessing” on this matter and hopes to “get it done in the next few months”.

Jan. 14, Victoria's last scheduled fight date, will be remembered as “Victoria Lee Day” in One Championship every year.

The Singapore-based Evolve MMA gym, which Victoria was a member of, will give several scholarships to up-and-coming young fighters.

Chatri will also give out the Victoria Lee Award every year to one fighter who “goes above and beyond” in giving back to their community.

Top photos via One Championship