Sherdog Remembers: The Brawl Outside the Hall

By Sherdog.com Staff Jul 13, 2011
Enough occurred inside the Octagon at UFC 38 “Brawl at the Hall” on July 13, 2002 to make it memorable -- the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s debut on British soil, Matt Hughes’ successful title defense against Carlos Newton and Ian Freeman’s upset of a then-unbeaten Frank Mir -- but what happened outside the Royal Albert Hall in London gave the event enduring legs.

A back-alley brawl involving Lee Murray and Tito Ortiz, among others, has become the subject of great debate in the weeks, months and years that have passed. In Hughes’ book, “Made in America: The Most Dominant Champion in UFC history,” released in 2008, the former UFC welterweight champion recounts the infamous incident as it was told to him by longtime coach Pat Miletich:

“I looked over and Chuck Liddell was with his back against the wall, knocking people out that were trying to go after him. Then I looked over and there’s Tito directly past me, taking his coat off, going after Lee Murray, and Lee Murray’s backing up the alley taking his jacket off. Both their jackets come off, and Tito throws a left hook at Lee Murray and misses, and right as he missed, Lee Murray counters with, like, a five-punch combo, landed right on the chin, and knocked Tito out. OUT. Tito fell face-first down to the ground, and then Lee Murray stomped him on the face a couple of times with his boots.”

To this day, Ortiz denies the incident took place as described in the book. Murray, who made his only UFC appearance two years later in a first-round submission victory over Jorge Rivera, has made news on other fronts. A convicted bank robber, he is serving a 25-year prison sentence for his involvement in a 2006 heist in the United Kingdom. In MMA circles, he will be forever known as the man who may or may not have knocked out Ortiz outside of the Royal Albert Hall on this day nine years ago.
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