ONE Championship’s first and only women’s atomweight world champion, Angela Lee, is likely done with MMA after the tragic loss of her sister Victoria Lee.
The mixed martial arts community was in shock after Angela Lee revealed that her sister and ONE Championship prospect, Victoria Lee, had suddenly passed away in December. Since then, the reigning atomweight queen along with her brother, two-division ONE world champion Christian Lee, have been absent from the promotion as they continue to mourn the loss of their little sister. The promotion has already made tentative plans to crown interim titleholders during their time away from competition, but according to ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong, Angela Lee may never return.
“Angela Lee is likely not coming back due to the loss of her sister,” Sityodtong said in a Facebook Watch video. “Christian Lee told me that he wants to come back. Stamp [Fairtex] and Seo Hee Ham will fight in August for the ONE atomweight championship.”
Neither Christian nor Angela Lee have addressed their fighting futures directly, but in a separate statement made to the South China Morning Post, Sityodgong confirmed that Christian Lee plans to take the rest of 2023 off before resuming his reign as both the ONE lightweight and welterweight world champion.
“I spoke to Christian, he wants to fight 100 percent but he will take the rest of the year off,” Sityodtong confirmed. “He will return next year. We will do interim title fights in both divisions this year to keep everything moving.”
Angela Lee and Her Family Are Among the Most Accomplished Fighters in MMA
Angela Lee (11-3) captured the inaugural women’s atomweight world title in May 2016 and is yet to relinquish the title, defending it four times since then. Lee has also been active in the strawweight division, challenging titleholder Xiong Jing Nan twice as part of a trilogy between the two women’s MMA icons. Lee came up short of becoming a dual-champ in both attempts where the strawweight title was on the line.
Her brother, Christian Lee, reclaimed the ONE lightweight world title in August 2022, defeating Ok Rae Yoon in an emphatic fashion at ONE 160. Three months later, Lee claimed the welterweight crown in a Fight of the Year contender with Kiamrian Abbasov. Lee scored a fourth-round TKO after nearly being finished in the opening round to capture his second ONE world championship.
Before her untimely passing, Victoria Lee was one of the promotion’s hottest prospects, winning three fights inside the ONE Circle before graduating high school. Lee, appropriately nicknamed ‘The Prodigy’, opted to take time away from competing to focus on her final year of high school. Graduating in May 2022, Lee was planning to make her ONE Championship return in 2023.