Iuri Lapicus, MMA Fighter, Dies in Motorcycle Crash

Iuri Lapicus, a mixed-martial arts fighter, died after a motorcycle crash in Italy Monday. Lapicus was 27. He was a ONE Championship fighter and most recently fought in August 2022.

"The ONE Championship team is heartbroken over the tragic passing of Iuri Lapicus," the promotion said in a statement to ESPN. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones at this difficult time."

Lapicus was in a motorcycle accident in Milan on March 17, reports Milano Today. He reportedly lost control of his motorcycle and fell to the ground. Paramedics arrived shortly after the accident, and he was transported to a hospital in Niguarda by helicopter. He was in a coma for three days before he died on Monday.

The fighter had a 14-2 record and challenged former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in 2021 for the ONE 185-pound title. The bout ended in a no-contest after Lapicus unintentionally punched the back of Alvarez's head. Lapicus' most recent fight was a loss to Zebaztian Kadestam in August 2022. He won his first 14 MMA matches.

Lapicus was born in Moldova but was a naturalized Italian citizen. In a 2019 interview with 4once, Lapicus said he started studying Judo at 9 years old in Moldova. "Moldova was a poor country and we trained on parquet at the time because we didn't have the right structures like tatami," he said. "I remember our training was flying through the air and falling on the floor and it was like that every day for a few years."

His friends, family, and fans have turned to his Instagram page to share their memories and condolences. "I met you when you did security for us great guy always available. Life gives you and takes you away but now it was really unfair," one person wrote. "Condolences to the family. Rest in peace champion you will be a warrior of heaven."

"I can't believe it, you taught me and my brother the love for this discipline, I'm so sorry! rest in peace Iuri," another wrote. "I can't believe it! I am sorry warrior. Rest in peace," another commented.