Dana White explains heartbreaking reason for UFC’s tribute to Shalie Lipp after fighter’s death in car crash
When the UFC pays tributes to recently deceased fighters before broadcasts, it’s usually someone who competes or competed for the promotion.
Shalie Lipp was different.
Lipp, a 21-year-old amateur mixed martial artist, was tragically killed in a two-vehicle crash May 7 in Moorhead, Minn. According to news station KVLY-11, Lipp was the only passenger in the two vehicles who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Four other passengers involved in the accident survived.
Four days later, UFC president Dana White posted a photo of Lipp on Instagram. In the caption, he tagged her account and wrote: “I KNOW YOUR NAME…… RIP.”
This past Saturday before UFC on ABC 4 went on the air, a tribute to the up-and-coming fighter flashed on the screen. After the event, White got choked up explaining the promotion’s decision to memorialize Lipp and why her death hit him so hard.
“That girl hurt me bad. It messed me up for a few days,” White told reporters during the UFC on ABC 4 post-event news conference. “Tragic things happen every day. That one got me. She was a 21-year-old MMA fighter. She just got back from Thailand training for a fight that she was supposed to fight on May 20th, and she was involved in a car accident. She was the passenger. Everybody else in the accident lived except for her. Her mom found her journal and was reading her journal. At the end of every entry she said, ‘Dana White will know my name.’
“Mick (Maynard) got a call and called me and said, ‘Hey, I just wanted to tell you that story.’ … I posted about her and talked to her mom a couple of times. I’m going to leave her mom alone, I think I’ve been annoying her Mom since I found out. I did the best that I could do over the past several days to kind of – yeah, I’m not good with this kind of stuff. But, yeah, horrible story.”
Lipp had been scheduled for her next fight this Saturday at No Mercy XI in Minnesota. According to her Tapology profile, she was 3-2 as an amateur since 2021. Lipp’s fight on Saturday would’ve been her first of 2023.