KEY POINTS

  • Victoria Lee prepares for a ONE Championship bout against Wang Luping
  • Lee talks about how she balances being an athlete and a teenager
  • She hopes to follow in the footsteps of older siblings

Being a professional athlete is tough. But for a 16-year-old mixed martial arts (MMA) upstart like Victoria Lee, juggling a prizefighting career with school and everyday life as a teenager is even tougher.

Fortunately, the latest Lee family member to grace the ONE Championship cage knows her priorities and knows how to make it all work.

“Well, actually for my last fight camp, I was still in school. It was online, so it was a little bit easier to juggle. But this year, even though I will be going into school to learn, I think that I'll be able to manage it,” Lee told International Business Times.

“Going into my senior year, I have a half-day schedule because, in my previous years, I was able to complete most of my credits in order to give me the flexibility in my senior year, which, luckily, I definitely needed to juggle training and schooling.”

Lee is looking to follow in the footsteps of her more accomplished older siblings such as Angela Lee and Christian Lee, who are both world champions in the Singapore-based outfit.

At just 16 years of age, Lee transitioned from the amateur ranks to become a professional mixed martial artist, joining ONE Championship just last February.

She put together an impressive promotional debut, defeating Thailand’s Sunisa Srisen via second-round submission.

Yet to be able to perform at the highest level and have to manage her daily life requires a lot of discipline, according to the young prodigy.

“My day-to-day schedule is, I wake up at seven o'clock just like I'd be going to school, but I come into the gym. And then I train until 10:30, go home, have lunch, and just relax and take care of my dogs,” Lee stated.

“And then I'm back in the gym for that evening session.”

This sort of rigorous training routine isn’t new. In fact, most elite athletes train throughout the day while in fight camp, which usually lasts between four to eight weeks on average.

But for a teenager, it can definitely be challenging.

Luckily, Lee’s entire family are decorated martial artists, including her head coach and father Ken, and her mother Jewelz, who both hold black belts in various disciplines.

Fans can catch Lee in action when she returns to the Circle to face China’s Wang Luping at ONE: Battleground, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, July 30.

While other teens her age are out doing what a typical youth does, Lee doesn’t feel like she’s missing out on anything. 

Despite the obvious challenges her profession presents, Lee stressed that she’s enjoying every bit of it all.

That certainly doesn’t bode well for her future opponents, with the way she’s rapidly progressing.

After all, in the fight game, fighters who enjoy what they’re doing fight best.

“This already is the best summer of my life. I have an amazing job,” Lee quipped.