Rising MMA Star Victoria Lee Dead at 18: 'You Were Our Bright Light'

Victoria Lee, rising MMA star, dies at 18
Victoria Lee, rising MMA star, dies at 18

Angela Lee Pucci/Instagram

Victoria Lee, an 18-year-old MMA fighter and MMA star Angela Lee Pucci's sister, has died, according to her elder sister.

Angela shared on Instagram over the weekend that Victoria died on Dec. 26, revealing the news in a lengthy post that featured an image of her sister smiling next to sunflowers. In it, she asked her followers to give her family "grace and respect during this most difficult time."

"She has gone too soon and our family has been completely devastated since then.
We miss her. More than anything in this world. Our family will never be the same," Angela wrote in the tribute. "Life will never be the same."

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Angela added that Victoria was the "most beautiful soul who ever lived" and "the best little sister in the world," whose death has left her family "broken."

"Because a piece of you was in each of us and when you left, those pieces were ripped out of us," Angela wrote. "We will never be the same."

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

Victoria's cause of death has not been revealed. She's survived by her parents, Ken and Jewelz Lee, along with Angela, 26, and brothers Christian, 24, and Adrian, 17 — all of whom are involved in MMA — as well as her one-year-old niece Ava, 1, whom Angela shares with Bruno Pucci, per NBC.

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Victoria competed in the women's atomweight division as part of ONE Championship. The organization also confirmed her death over the weekend.

Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong shared in a statement that Victoria, whom he met when she was 11, was "wise, thoughtful, and selfless she was beyond her years." Victoria earned three wins during her career with ONE, which she had been part of since 2020, most recently defeating Victoria Souza during a second-round TKO in September 2021.

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"Of course, she was an extraordinary martial arts prodigy even back then, but I could see that she was so much more than that," Sityodtong wrote. "Victoria had the purest heart of gold and a brilliant mind. She looked after others before herself. She wanted to use her life to help the world. I will always remember Victoria for the beautiful and precious soul that she was."

In June, Victoria graduated from high school, telling ONE that she saw her family in the crowd as she received her diploma. "When I was fighting throughout the school year, it was definitely pretty difficult to juggle, like the timing of school and training, as well as the homework," she said.

"So now, it's nice to have all that time in the day just to train. Now I get to focus on just training and it's just a way more enjoyable experience."