Former ONE Championship MMA title challenger Iuri Lapicus passed away Monday in Milan, Italy, following a motorcycle crash. The news was confirmed Monday morning (local time) by his friend and manager Carlo Di Blasi. Lapicus, a native of Moldova who was raised in Italy, was just 27 years old. According to the local news site https://www.milanotoday.it/cronaca/morto-iuri-lapicus.html Lapicus lost control of his motorbike last Friday around midnight in the Northwest Milan metro area and was thrown several feet from the crash site. He was found in a coma by the paramedics and taken by helicopter to Niguarda hospital in Milan, where he tragically passed away after three days of intensive care.
A professional fighter since 2014, Lapicus was 14-2-0 with one no-contest and 14 finishes – four by knockout and 10 by submission. He joined ONE Championship as an undefeated pro in 2019. After two victories, he challenged Christian Lee for the lightweight belt in Oct. 2020, but was defeated in the first round. In Apr. 2021, he faced the legendary Eddie Alvarez. The bout ended in a disqualification of Alvarez for illegal strikes to the back of the head. Alvarez appealed the final decision, and the result was later overturned to a no contest. His final fight was last August, when he suffered a knockout loss to Zebaztian Kadestam.
The loss of the young star sent shockwaves through the MMA community.