Victoria Lee makes her long awaited ONE Championship debut on Friday. The 16 year old has been matched with Sunisa Srisen in her first ever professional fight.

Lee won gold at the IMMAF Junior World Championships in 2019. So while her opponent has more professional experience the Hawaiian definitely does not feel she will be at a disadvantage at ONE: ‘Fists of Fury’,

“She’s an aggressive striker, and I would say her main strength is her strong judo base. Her weakness, I believe, is that she hasn’t trained in mixed martial arts as a whole as much, and that is where I will have the advantage.”

Groomed for greatness

It seems like a surprising statement for a fighter to make ahead of her professional debut. But Lee has been groomed to become a mixed martial artists by her entire family, with older siblings Christian Lee and Angela Lee having laid down the blueprint for ONE Championship success.

She has been training with both as she prepares to compete at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this week,

“Leading up to this match, my brother and sister have really helped me because they were doing this before me, competing at a young age. They’ve offered me so much helpful advice to breathe and just deal with the pressure and have fun with it.”

Familiar territory

When she isn’t training for amateur competitions and tournaments Lee is helping her brother and sister prepare for their ONE Championship bouts. So while turning pro represents a step up it isn’t necessarily a step into the unknown,

“It’s similar to training for any other competition because we train hard all the time. However, for this official fight camp, we’re able to strategize and have more of a game plan because we have a specific opponent we can strategize against using her strengths and weaknesses.”

Srisen has fought twice for ONE Championship and three times for Full Metal Dojo. Lee says she has even managed to find some amateur footage of her opponent and is impressed by what she’s seen,

“I’ve watched her amateur and professional fights. She’s had two matches in ONE against Rika and Stamp Fairtex. From her fights, she’s a very tough opponent.”

Fast paced

Angela Lee won her first three ONE Championship bouts in the opening round while Christian Lee finished his first five opponents in under five minutes. No-one is expecting the most recent family addition to the roster to make a slow start and the teenager confirms she wants a fast finish,

“I think that this is going to be a fast-paced match. We’re both aggressive fighters, and I predict that it will end with a first-round submission.”

The fight is one of six that will be broadcast live on Friday. Lee is happy that her friends and family will be able to watch the fight in real time and is looking forwards to competing on a ONE Championship card for the first time,

“I am super excited to be the opening match for this stacked card. There’s so many high-class athletes on this card,” she said.

Different variables

Fighters from the Lee family tend to be extremely strong on the ground and a lot of their victories have come by way of submission or ground and pound. Interestingly the teenager does not expect the fight to play out as either a striking match or a grappling battle.

She believes it could all come down to who is able to get the better of the scrambles and control where the action takes place,

“We’re competing in mixed martial arts. There’s so many different variables, and it’s in the transitions that will really make the match.”