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By: Alex Williams, MMATorch Contributor An attempt to escape Sale prison in Morocco by former MMA fighter Lee Murray was foiled by prison officials, according to the June 15 Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Small saws were found in a plate of biscuits in Murray's cell by another prisoner who broke into it. Prison officials believe Murray was planning to cut through the iron bars of his cell window with the saws. To make the escape through the small window easier, Murray had lost a significant amount of weight recently though training hard and starving himself.
Murray was in a different cell at the time as punishment for being caught with a laptop computer (with internet access) and five kilos of drugs. Other prisoners at Sale held it against Murray that he was able to use his money to smuggle in items like these, as well as expensive clothes. The fellow prisoner who broke into his cell was doing so to steal some of Murray's belongings.
The British Murray is believed to have been involved in the largest bank robbery in British history. He was apprehended in Morocco, where he has citizenship because his father was Moroccan. Because of legal complications stemming from his Moroccan citizenship and the country's lack of an expedition treaty with Britain, Murray remains in Moroccan custody.
Murray was best known in MMA circles for getting the better of Tito Ortiz in a street fight following the UFC 38 event in 2002, held in London. Murray reportedly dropped Ortiz with punches and punted his head. This was particularly impressive considering that Murray was a 185 pound fighter and Ortiz was the 205 pound champion at the time.
In formal MMA competition, Murray submitted Jorge Rivera in his only UFC appearance. He holds a knock out victory over Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons. He was outpointed by Anderson Silva in his last MMA bout, in September 2004.*
Murray was out of competition after the match because he was nearly fatally wounded by a knife stab in a street brawl. After Murray recovered, he was involved in the aforementioned bank heist.
Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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