For a fighter with precisely zero professional bouts on her record, Victoria Lee had a lot of attention on her Friday. Of course, that’s what happens when you’re the little sister of two world champions: Angela Lee, ONE Championship’s atomweight Queen, and Christian Lee, who currently rules the roost in the promotion’s lightweight division.
The promotion turned heads and raised eyebrows when it signed the younger (but not youngest) Lee. Victoria was all of sixteen years old when she signed on with the Asian MMA powerhouse — not unique, as fellow fighters Jordan Mein, Marcin Held, and others debuted prior to their eighteenth birthday. But few fighters so young, and so inexperienced, debut in a major promotion.
Pressure? What pressure.
Lee made her debut at ONE Championship’s Fists of Fury in Kallang, Singapore on Friday. Against the older, more experienced Sunisa Srisen, the teenager immediately moved across the cage, throwing punches and eating a few in return. The pair then clinched, trading knees, with the youngster holding her own in the strength department initially. However, a throw ended in Victoria Lee on her back, working on an inverted triangle. Srisen, perhaps recognizing that was one area she was outmatched in, wisely backed off, allowing the fight to return to the feet.
Another clinch led to another throw, this time with Lee in control, on Srisen’s back. From there, Lee flattened her opponent out, hooks in. Srisen worked her way to the fence, taking away precious space, but she couldn’t work her way up. Lee peppered her opponent with elbows and a large number of punches as Srisen covered up. Inexperience, perhaps, led Lee to switch between strikes and submission attempts, even as the TKO finish presented itself. Instead of the finish, Lee was greeted by the bell.
In the second round, however, Lee made no mistake. After some clinch work, the pair went to the ground, Victoria Lee again taking the back. This time, she flattened Srisen out and snaked her arm under the neck for the rear-naked choke. Srisen had no choice but to tap.
It’s hard from one outing to gauge where Lee’s ceiling is. Simply put, anything short of a dominant win probably would have been viewed as a failure, however unfair that might be. With the submission finish, and holding her own throughout the fight, Lee’s debut was certainly a success, but it would be wise for ONE to move slowly with a fighter who has the right pedigree, but who is unquestionably green.
Official Result: Victoria Lee def. Sunisa Srisen by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 1:03