KEY POINTS

  • Victoria Lee is bound for bigger things for competing at a young age of 17 years old
  • Victoria Lee is  facing more advanced opponents compared to her sister Angela
  • Victoria Lee tests the mettle of Victoria Souza at ONE: Revoluion on Friday

On the surface, proclaiming Victoria Lee--the 17-year-old mixed martial arts (MMA) phenom in ONE Championship -will someday surpass older sister, Angela, comes across like a bed of hot coals.

After all, Victoria is just two fights into her professional career, while Angela is already an established superstar with a record of 10-2.

But the notion that Victoria could eventually end up outdoing her older sibling may not be as far-fetched as it initially appears.

Victoria Lee with Angela Lee Victoria Lee with Angela Lee Photo: photo: screen capture from ONE Championship

When Angela made her professional MMA debut, one of the main talking points was her age.

At the time, she was just 18 years old, an astoundingly young age for a professional athlete, even more so in a sport like MMA.

Upon her arrival in ONE Championship, the eldest Lee sibling rattled off five consecutive wins, all by submission, including the rare “Twister” that went viral on social media.

She ran through nine tough opponents in a row before suffering her first defeat. In her fifth professional fight, the then-19-year-old defeated Japanese veteran Mei Yamaguchi to capture the inaugural women's atomweight title in the promotion.

The victory marked Angela’s best win at that point, by a significant margin. What Yamaguchi represented as a savvy veteran was a litmus test for the young atomweight and an opportunity to prove that she truly belonged in ONE Championship.

Of course, Angela passed the test with flying colors, defeating Yamaguchi via unanimous decision, albeit going the distance and facing adversity for the first time in her career.

Prior to her bout against the Japanese MMA mainstay, the combined record of Angela’s opponents stood at 10-9, a reasonable mark for a teenage rising star’s opposition.

Now with Victoria competing on the same stage alongside her older siblings, there are a few notable differences when comparing Angela’s career trajectory.

Foremost, Victoria’s professional debut came at the even more astonishing young age of 16.

Furthermore, in her first three fights--including her upcoming bout at ONE: Revolution--the combined record of her opponents entering the fight is 12-3, good for an 80% winning rate.

In comparison, through Angela’s first three bouts, the combined record of her opposition was 5-7, with just over a 41 percent winning rate.

Additionally, Victoria joined a stacked atomweight division that is teeming with talent.

At least on paper, the opponents Victoria is facing in the Circle currently are much more advanced in terms of experience and skill, compared to the foes Angela faced when she was just starting.

This means Victoria’s development as a fighter will theoretically come quicker.

Victoria also has the benefit of foresight.

Victoria Lee Victoria Lee Photo: photo: screen capture from ONE Championship

While Angela’s success has been a trailblazing affair for her and her family, Victoria is the youngest of the three Lee siblings under contract with ONE Championship.

Angela is 25, Christian--the lightweight champion--is 23, and Victoria is now 17. The benefit of having two elite mixed martial artists as older siblings should not be understated.

Victoria has echoed the praises of her kin on many occasions, lauding them for the guidance and support that they have provided her.

Ironically, this could end up being the difference between Angela and Victoria.

As is the case with the Diaz brothers, the Pitbull brothers and the Shevchenko sisters, the younger sibling surpasses the eldest in due time.

Although each pair of siblings are unique, coming from different backgrounds and disciplines, there is more than enough proof to surmise that the younger sibling normally has the upper hand when their careers are all said and done.

With the benefit of historical context, an unrivaled support system, and a steeper learning curve than her older sister, it’s feasible to say that Victoria could end up being the better mixed martial artist of the two Lee sisters.

All of that is mere speculation at this point, and Victoria will have to prove it in the cage.

But she is, without a doubt, on the right track. If she continues to win and picks up some microphone skills, it’s not hard to envision Victoria becoming one of the biggest mixed martial arts stars on the planet.

Victoria returns to action this Friday, September 24 at ONE: Revolution, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

She will face fellow undefeated fighter and ONE Championship newcomer Victoria Souza of Brazil.