MMA fighter Shalie Lipp, who many fans and observers had marked as the next, great female star in UFC, died in an automobile accident on Sunday. She was just 21 years old at the time of her passing.
Lipp was one of two passengers in a Chevy Malibu driven by 35-year-old Joseph Trottier, when it hit a Jeep Cherokee on the Red River Bridge on I-94 in Moorhead, Minnesota, according to Valley News Live. Although five people were involved in the crash, Lipp was the only one who was not wearing a seatbelt. She was also the only fatality.
Both vehicles were traveling eastbound on the highway when the Malibu made contact with the Jeep.
Shalie Lipp was signed with Ignite Fights and was scheduled to be a part of the main event of their upcoming “No Mercy” card on May 21. The organization sent out a message to its fans and Lipp’s family in response to her tragic and sudden death.
“It’s been a very teary 24 hours since I got the news that Shalie Lipp is no longer among us and has made her way to heaven,” the promotion company posted on Facebook. “She was an amazing soul along with of course being a great athlete and person. She was a friend to everyone at Ignite Fights and I can only imagine how many more.”
Shalie Lipp (3-2 MMA amateur) was a native of northwestern Minnesota where she excelled at track and field and gymnastics as a youth. She recently returned from Thailand, where she’d spent April honing her skills in preparation for her upcoming bantamweight bout. At the time of her passing, the prospect was ranked the 293rd pound-for-pound female fighter in the world
Now, her death leaves plenty of questions. Not the least of which is, “What if?”
While Lip was still young and unproven, her athletic background and physical prowess left many people envisioning her as a future superstar. Most MMA experts believed that – given some experience and maturity – she would eventually make the natural progression to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“She had an amazing work ethic she had only been back a few days from a month of training in Thailand,” MMA promoter Jeremy Bjornberg said about Lipp. “At 19 years old, she started fighting the top fighters in the Midwest.”
“She was someone everyone knew was going to go somewhere and end up in the UFC.”