UFC president Dana White recently honored the memory of a promising young MMA fighter who tragically passed away before ever having the opportunity to impress him.
Shalie Lipp, an amateur MMA fighter, died in a car accident early Sunday morning when a vehicle collided with the Chevrolet Malibu she was travelling in.
According to a report by the Minnesota State Patrol, 21-year-old Shalie Lipp was not wearing a seatbelt when the car she was a passenger in was hit by a Jeep Cherokee. Unfortunately, she was the only one injured in the tragic accident.
Lipp, an amateur MMA fighter who had recently returned from Thailand, was scheduled to headline the main event of Ignite No Mercy 11 against Natalie Gage on May 20 at Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. She had hoped to catch the eye of UFC president Dana White, like many aspiring fighters do.
Upon hearing the news of Lipp's passing, White expressed his condolences and shared a heartfelt tribute to the young fighter on social media.
“Shalie Lipp I KNOW YOUR NAME……. RIP,” White wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of the young fighter.
The 53-year-old explained in his comment section who Lipp was and why he chose to honour the young fighter in such a way following her tragically premature passing.
“She is a 21 year old amateur MMA fighter who just passed away in a car accident,” White said.
“She was supposed to fight May 20th and just got home from training in Thailand.
"Her mother found her journal and I guess at the end of every entry she would write 'Dana White will know my name.'
“[UFC fighter] Lauren Murphy called and told [UFC Vice President of Talent Relations] Mick Maynard the story and it broke my heart. My condolences to her family and friends.”
Many of MMA’s biggest stars also paid tribute to Lipp, including Conor McGregor, who replied to White’s post with a heart and praying emoji.
Former middleweight champion Michael Bisping branded the tragedy ‘heartbreaking’, as did top contender Belal Muhammad following his big win over Gilbert Burns at UFC 288.
UFC commentator Laura Sanko added: “Thank you for sharing this…my heart goes out to her family.”
Rest in peace, Shalie Lipp.