- Dan Ige has pleaded with people to stop using Victoria Lee’s death to further conspiracy theories.
- Angela Lee announced the death of her 18-year-old sister this month. Victoria died in December.
- “Such a young girl, tons of potential, loved by so many people — it’s just heartbreaking,” Ige told Insider.
LAS VEGAS — UFC fighter Dan Ige told Insider and other reporters on Saturday that he hopes conspiracy theorists give the Lee family “the respect they deserve” following the death of Victoria Lee. at the age of 18 in December.
“Give them mad respect because it’s their tragedy,” Ige told us. “It’s their loss. It’s all our losses.”
Based in Hawaii, Lee was a promising athlete with Singaporean fighting company One Championship.
Her older sister Angela, a One Championship champion fighter, announced Victoria’s passing on social media – news that stunned the MMA industry.
“Victoria was the most beautiful soul that ever lived,” Angela said on Instagram. “She was the best little sister in the world.
A Championship boss, Chatri Sityodtong, said in a separate statement on Facebook: “I am heartbroken at the passing of Victoria Lee.”
Ige won a landslide victory on Saturday and mentioned the Lee family in his victory speech
Backstage, Insider asked Ige if he could share his thoughts on Victoria’s life, death and what she meant to Hawaii.
“Honestly, it’s super tough,” Ige said. “I never knew Victoria. I know Christian, I know Angela, her husband, their father, and when this news came out, such a young girl, 18, with tons of potential and loved by so many people – it’s just heartbreaking. He’s one of ours.”
No cause of death was given for Lee’s death, which fueled online speculation.
Ige addressed this Saturday at the Apex in Las Vegas.
“I just pray that people give [the Lee family] respect because, on social networks, everyone wants to invent the conspiracy [that] it was the vaccine, or it was the sanity. Was it that? That was it ?
“But whoever is even behind these conspiracies, respect them,” Ige said.
“An 18-year-old dies, and he’s going to mourn him for the rest of his life. We’re going to wake up on Monday and read the paper and see what’s next. It’s an absolute tragedy.
“They were definitely weighing on my heart, and the only thing you can do is pray for them because she’s gone, and there’s no way to bring her back.”
Ige had won his fight with great style
Earlier in the evening, Insider was at ringside for Ige’s landslide victory over Damon Jackson in the second round of their featherweight bout.
The finish held off a three-fight skid for Ige and boosted his pro-MMA record to 16 wins (five knockouts, five submissions and six decisions) against six losses.
Watch his win here:
—ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 15, 2023
Elsewhere at the UFC’s premier event of 2023, Umar Nurmagomedov maintained his undefeated run with a knockout so incredible it cemented his reputation as a future champion.
Abdul Razak Alhassan, Allan Nascimento and Javid Basharat, meanwhile, lit up the ESPN prelims with their own performances.
The next UFC live event is on January 21 as pay-per-view UFC 283, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro. The company then returns to Las Vegas for another Fight Night event at the Apex on February 4.