ONE Championship has inked a deal with 16-year old Victoria Lee, little sister of ONE stars Christian and Andrea Lee. And nearly as soon as the announcement had been made, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong found himself under heavy fire over the deal — and fired back at his critics.
Lee (0-0) has a handful of amateur fights under her belt, but will be making her professional MMA debut when she steps in the cage for ONE Championship.
In announcing the signing Wednesday, Sityodtong noted that Victoria Lee “is a 2019 IMMAF Junior World Champion, a 2x Pankration Junior World Champion, and a 2019 Hawaii State Wrestling Champion. Oh wait, I almost forgot to mention that Victoria also happens to be the younger sister of ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee and ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee!”
“It might be impossible to believe,” he added, “but Victoria is already better than Angela was at the same age. She will be competing in the stacked atomweight division. For me, Victoria is arguably the single greatest pound-for-pound female prospect in the world today.”
However, noting the fighters young age, the usual internet types began to sound off. Nevermind that fighters like Jordan Mein and Rory MacDonald among others both turned pro at 16. In any case, Sityodtong had a response to the critics, and it wasn’t pretty.
To the assholes hating on Victoria Lee:
1) If you don’t have anything nice to say, please kindly STFU.
2) I signed Victoria to ONE Championship
entirely on her merit alone. It had nothing to do with her siblings and their achievements. Watch her debut and you will instantly understand what I mean. She is a phenom prodigy.
3) In fighting, skills trump age. If you have the skills to dominate in your weight class, it does not matter how old you are. In my opinion, Victoria is the single greatest pound-for-pound female prospect today in mixed martial arts on the planet.
4) I am a lifelong expert martial artist, and I can tell you that Victoria would smoke the majority of adult female professional athletes today in her weight class in any organization in the world.
5) Her parents are also lifelong expert martial artists. Her siblings are current World Champions. I am pretty sure that their collective judgement for what is best for Victoria is better than your judgement or mine. That being said, Victoria is the one who made the decision to turn pro with input and wisdom from her family.
6) At 16 years old, Victoria is a phenom talent like LeBron James. Every sport has phenom prodigies who break the barriers on what is possible. Let’s celebrate these phenoms instead of hating on them.
7) To be clear, she has already crushed many adult female professional athletes in the gym. She has also competed all of her life across various martial arts, and has an extraordinary career win-loss record. If my memory serves me correctly, Victoria has something like a 95% win rate over hundreds of matches.
8) She has been doing mixed martial arts since the age of 3 years old under the careful guidance of her father Ken Lee, and is fully versed in all areas (striking, grappling, wrestling, cage work, and transitions) of mixed martial arts.
9) Equally important, Victoria excels academically. She has always been a straight A student and will continue her studies (even when she competes in ONE Championship) until she graduates. I feel sorry for the haters because Victoria can kick your ass both in real-life and in academics. (To be fair though, Victoria has far better grades than I ever did in school at her age too. 🤣)
10) For those of you worried about her future, I can assure you that she will likely be a millionaire before she turns 21 years old.
Any more questions?
No debut date for Victoria Lee has been set. Neither Christian nor Andrea Lee have fought during the coronavirus pandemic.