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Thread: The Cautionary Tale of Lee Murray

  1. #1
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    Star The Cautionary Tale of Lee Murray

    Once upon a time, in a distinctly un-magical kingdom, an unknown, unranked, un-heroic middleweight laid a lauded light-heavyweight champion unconscious in an alley.



    In the early, twilit hours of July 14, 2002, a mass altercation consumed the streets surrounding a central London nightclub. Although that is not completely unique in itself, what sets this particular brawl apart from the countless other drunken feuds, is the quality of combatant involved.



    Five were professional Mixed Martial Artists: Pat Miletich, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Tony Frykland and Lee Murray. Three are now legends in the sport. One is a semi-retired journeyman and the other currently resides in a Moroccan prison fighting extradition to the UK on charges of armed robbery.



    Embedded within the annals of MMA folklore; this is the cautionary tale of Lee Murray.



    It began as most confrontations begin: with misunderstanding. A jovial, relaxed evening in celebration of UFC 38, the organisation's triumphant European debut, quickly collapsed beneath the strain of copious alcohol, and the confrontational gene inherent in men who choose to fight for a living.



    A member of Ortiz’s entourage playfully/foolishly mounted Miletich’s back and feigned a chokehold. Frykland, apparently not renowned for his sense of humour, misread this as an intentful attack and promptly ripped the would-be jokester off Miletich and into a genuine chokehold of his own. From there a melee ensued.



    In events such as this, often variations occur with perspective. Most accounts, however, settle upon two enduring images. One is of Chuck Liddell, postured against the nearest wall dropping anyone who dared approach him.



    The other is of Light-Heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, removing his jacket, swinging a wild punch at young middleweight Lee Murray, missing, eating a furious flurry of punches, falling, and receiving a few obligatory head stomps for his trouble.



    Understandably, Ortiz denies this ever happened (The Ortiz version sees Murray replaced by an army of hardened war criminals each armed with a baseball and it ends in a draw), but whatever the truth, the story spread and the rudiments of myth had been set.



    Indeed, a mythical shroud of uncertainty appears to extend into every aspect of Murray’s colourful past. The Internet is awash with speculative biographies, charting underground orphan fighting circuits, gangs and an unreasonable number of street fights (A number Murray himself estimates to be within the high hundreds). It is only with his professional fighting career that an element of credibility can be found.



    Between 1999 and 2004 Murray amassed an impressive record of 8-2-1. Gifted with incredible hand speed, surprising power, a prodigious desire to learn, and an almost sociopathic enjoyment of fighting, he possessed all the requisites for success.



    In early 2004, after years of honing his craft in Europe and under the tutelage of the Miletich Fighting System, Murray made his American debut at UFC 46, with a first-round submission victory over Ultimate Fighter 4 contestant Jorge Rivera.



    What should have become a prosperous stint stateside was curtailed, however, as Murray's undesirable past caught up with him and a visa was denied for his return. Instead, Murray took a fight for the vacant Cage Rage middleweight championship. His opponent would be Anderson Silva.



    As with many promising middleweights, cursed to be of the same generation as the potent Silva, Murray’s attempt to secure the title was destined for failure. Murray lost, but took Silva the distance, which itself stands as a testament to his potential as a fighter. It would be his last professional appearance.



    On Sept. 28, 2005 Murray’s penchant for nightclub scuffles revealed itself once more outside the ludicrously named ‘Funky Budda’ in London. He was stabbed through the heart and died on three separate occasions.



    Ironically it was the supreme physical condition achieved through fighting that would save his life. Just a week beforehand, outside the same venue, Murray had suffered another stabbing and lost a nipple. Murray's chronic attraction to trouble had ended his promising career.



    On 25 June 2006, Lee Murray was arrested whilst shopping in the Moroccan capital of Rabat, in connection with the armed robbery of £53 million, from the Securitas depot in Tonebridge, Kent.



    British intelligence had identified him as the mastermind behind a robbery, which saw the manager of the depot and his family kidnapped and threatened at gunpoint.



    Murray was also found to be in possession of Class A narcotics, which would turn out to a rather serendipitous offence, as it mean that a prison term would have to be served in Morocco before Britain.



    On Sept. 12, 2007, Lee Ibrahim Murray was granted Moroccan citizenship, prohibiting an extradition to London under article 721 of the criminal Code. Currently, Murray remains in Morocco despite the best efforts of the British government.



    And there he waits. The most promising of British fighters waits within the confines of a foreign jail for a trial that may never come. A tragic example of the dangerous contradiction of professional fighting. An example of talented aggression and professional training without control.



    The plight of Lee Murray is a microcosm for the wider failings of street fighters who believe they can transfer those useless endeavours into Mixed Martial Arts. Often these individuals lack the technical acumen or temperament to succeed against the modern athlete (Kimbo Slice/Tank Abbott/Sean Gannon).



    Murray, however, possessed all the tools for success, but he lacked control. A lesson that should be heeded by all those thinking of embarking upon a career in professional fighting.



    This is the cautionary tale of Lee Murray.

  2. #2
    Olympic Champ clmetal's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cautionary Tale of Lee Murray

    Lee Murray is a scumbag and I never understood why Dana immediately ruled out having Tito and Lee fight back then as their was fan interest.

    I thought Hughes was there too and wrote about it in his book?
    "I don?t give a f_ck about money, bro. Believe me when I tell you that." Dana White

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Cautionary Tale of Lee Murray

    I was less than 20 feet from it all Claudale. It was rather exciting. Now all of these guys are done and Tito Ortiz is on the verge of signing MMA's biggest contract. He has done quite well for himself since that evening.
    Lets go Brent!

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Cautionary Tale of Lee Murray

    OBC can you please let us know what the real story was? did Tito take a thumping or what?
    Like Billy Jacks' soul attack, I'm one Injun you wont forget.

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  5. #5

    Default Re: The Cautionary Tale of Lee Murray

    He did indeed take a thumping, but it was hardly an indication of the best both individuals had. It happened pretty much as Militech has said, in that a fight broke out with Bo, (Tito's friend) and Frycklund. Tito ran over and swung on Murray, lost his balance and was exposed for the very well timed and placed combination from Murray. Ortiz went down and took a few boots to the head. Chcuk was fighting and dropping anyone who got close to him. I believe it was Hughes who covered Tito up and saved him from a further beating. Murray definitely got the best of him, but Ortiz was drunk, barely could stand on his own and was in formal attire.
    Lets go Brent!

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Cautionary Tale of Lee Murray

    The story that never surfaced is the revenge effort from Ortiz in Las Vegas the next time Murray showed up for the UFC. There was a group of about 20 or so looking for Murray at his hotel and Ortiz was going to challenge him 1 on 1. It was expected that a melee would follow between both camps. That nearly happened, until it was leaked to Dana White and he put a stop to it. That could have got ugly. From my understanding, weapons were involved from both sides and loss of life was very likely
    Lets go Brent!

  7. #7
    Olympic Champ clmetal's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cautionary Tale of Lee Murray

    Quote Originally Posted by Adolf Oliverbush View Post
    I was less than 20 feet from it all Claudale. It was rather exciting. Now all of these guys are done and Tito Ortiz is on the verge of signing MMA's biggest contract. He has done quite well for himself since that evening.
    How exactly you were there, Adolf?

    I wonder why Dana didn't let them settle this in the cage? Although MMA was much less popular, this was something the fans wantes to see.

    How did Hughes and Tito end up not liking each other? I remember they had a close match at Abu Dhabi and of course their fighting styles were nearly identical back in the day - two unstoppably strong wrestlers
    "I don?t give a f_ck about money, bro. Believe me when I tell you that." Dana White

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Cautionary Tale of Lee Murray

    Thanks OBC, you have verified what others have stated. I was not sure whether or not to believe the writer, but your account seems legit. Ive read elsewhere that Tito was boozed and wearing roach killers, which dont have any traction, So i could see him slipping quite easily.
    Like Billy Jacks' soul attack, I'm one Injun you wont forget.

    www.euromitsu.com

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Cautionary Tale of Lee Murray

    Quote Originally Posted by clmetal View Post
    How exactly you were there, Adolf?

    I wonder why Dana didn't let them settle this in the cage? Although MMA was much less popular, this was something the fans wantes to see.

    How did Hughes and Tito end up not liking each other? I remember they had a close match at Abu Dhabi and of course their fighting styles were nearly identical back in the day - two unstoppably strong wrestlers

    WTF do you mean how was I there? I was there Claudale, I was standing right next to the action. It was outside of a bar in a public place. Lots of people were there. One Tito Ortiz camp member was bloodied up from head to toe and after the chaos, ran down a main street in search of medical attention or an escape route. Not sure which one.
    Lets go Brent!

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