Dan Ige scored a highlight reel KO at UFC Vegas 67 last weekend and afterwards he wanted to talk about Victoria Lee. The Hawaiian is a family friend and was clearly affected by the teenager’s death which was announced a week ago.

He thinks that the pain the family is going through has been confounded by the conspiracy theorists who are trying to use Lee’s death to push their anti vaccine agenda. The 31 year old had a message for these people,

I just pray that people give (the Lee family) respect because on social media everyone wants to come up with the conspiracy (that) it was the vaccine. But whoever’s even coming up with these conspiracies,  give them some respect.

While Ige did not know Victoria personally he describes her as ‘one of our own’ and sounds devastated by the death of his fellow Hawaiian,

Honestly, it’s super hard. I never knew Victoria. I know Christian, I know Angela, her husband, their dad, and when that news came out, a girl being so young, 18, with tons of potential and loved by so many it’s just heartbreaking. That’s one of our own.

Paying tribute

The UFC paid tribute to Victoria Lee with social media posts on Sunday. It was a rare show of solidarity from a promotion that would normally consider ONE Championship, where the teenager fought three times, a rival.

Victoria Lee’s death has clearly rocked the MMA community. Ige earned $50,000 USD for his second round knockout win over Damon Jackson, turning his career around after a run of three straight losses.

The 31 year old should have been in celebratory mood and it is a measure of how deeply Victoria Lee’s death has affected him that he spent so long dwelling on it after the fight. He says the family is ‘in his heart’ after this ‘absolute tragedy’,

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 bringing her back.

No cause of death has been confirmed at the time of writing although Angela Lee did issue a heartfelt message in an Instagram tribute to her younger sister telling people to,

Check on your loved ones. Keep checking on them. Give them hugs and tell them how much they mean to you. You just never know.