MOORHEAD, Minn. — The life of an ambitious young MMA fighter and former Minnesota star high school athlete ended suddenly on Sunday in a two-vehicle crash on I-94 near Moorhead.
Shalie Lipp was just 21 years old and in training for an upcoming fight card in Detroit Lakes May 20, hoping to climb the ladder and eventually end up battling opponents in the highest echelons of the sport.
The Minnesota State Patrol says Lipp was a passenger in a 2015 Chevy Malibu driven by 35-year-old Joseph Vital Trottier of Fargo when the vehicle made contact with an SUV driven by a 63-year-old man from Savage near the Red River Bridge.
While offering few details of the crash, the state patrol website says Lipp was not wearing a seat belt, and was declared dead on the scene.
Ignite Fights was promoting the upcoming "No Mercy" MMA fight card that was to feature Lipp as a main event. "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. She was the definition of someone who lit up a room and gone far , far too soon, I can't imagine with her work ethic and talent what she would have accomplished."
Shalie Lipp grew up in northwestern MInnesota where she excelled at track and field and gymnastics in the communities of Perham and Breckenridge.
The Whapeton Daily News reports that Lipp had only recently returned from training in Thailand, where she’d spent most of the month of April honing her mixed martial arts training at various academies in southeast Asia. While still officially an amateur in the fighting ranks, Lipp was in heavy training as a member of the Academy of Combat Arts in Fargo, a facility responsible for training athletes who have fought in the Bellator series, considered a precursor for the UFC.
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