Lee Murray allegedly pulled off the largest bank heist in history, racking in an astronomical $83,000,000. I'm not going to tell you the story of Lee Murray. If you're not familiar with this man, then someone should snatch your MMA fanboy card and ignite it with a cigarette lighter. Try Googling 'Lee Murray' to get up-to-date, and scold yourself after you're done.
Most people are going to believe this interview is too incredible to be real. Trust me, I never thought it would happen until it actually happened. A few weeks ago, someone saw our 'Free Lee Murray' shirt and decided to contact us through 'WorldOverEasy.com'. That same person told me that he could get us in contact with Lee and he would be eager to do an interview. Guffaw isn't even the word. I didn't even respond, until that same person contacted us a few days later with proof that he was in contact with Lee Murray. Still skeptical, I drummed up a lengthy list of questions and submitted them for Lee Murray to answer. I never thought I would get them back, days passed, and then the same person contacted me to inform me that it would just be better that I interview Lee Murray directly from his Moroccan prison cell. The person went on to tell me that Lee Murray (by some incredible and unknown means) is in possession of a cellphone and that he couldn't answer the phone, but he could text back. Still stunned as to how the guy could smuggle a cellphone into a Moroccan prison, I sought some proof to make sure I wasn't part of some elaborate troll job. The proof arrived, and needless to say, it was legit.
I conducted the entire interview via text on January 20th at 3:03pm PST, and six hours later, the interview ended.
Everything below is directly from a Moroccan prison, from the hands of Lee Murray. I've only corrected small typos, added punctuation and blacked-out the name of the person that put us in contact. This is an highly improbable and very expensive interview (midway, I called my phone provider to switch to an 'international package' in order to save money on each text). Big thanks to Nathan Fox for the illustration, originally commissioned by ESPN magazine. You can check his site out here.
Check out our ultra-rare exclusive interview with Lee Murray, directly from his Moroccan prison -- only at MiddleEasy.com.
Update: For everyone that doubts this interview, I just received a text from Lee Murray (yes, from a Moroccan prison) and he wanted me to publish his address on this interview. So here it is:
Lee Brahim Lamrani-Murray
Prison Locale de Sale
Hey Lee, It's Zeus from MiddleEasy.com. Let me know if you get this. You can send me an SMS on this number - Thanks, Lee.
Hey Lee, let me know if you get this messageYeah, no probs I got it!!
Wow, very nice. Did you see the questions we prepared that we gave to [omitted] for the interview? If not, I can type out each one here.He started to read a few of the questions out to me over the phone but I stopped him and told him it would be easier if you just sent them to me direct. I will answers all questions regarding my fighting career, regarding other events, I can't answer at this present time which I think [omitted] explained.
Alright, sounds good. I'm going to start the interview. I know it's 11:30pm over there so if you start getting sleepy, let me know and we'll continue it tomorrow. Feel free to take as long as you want to answer each question. No prob, I'm up usually till 2am, it's like a f***** cattle market in here, people start going asleep around 2am so no probs, fire away.
I guess the first thing I want to ask is how is this exchange of communication even possible in a Moroccan prison? How did you get a phone in there? I would prefer you leave that question out.
Alright, take us through a day in the life of Lee Murray inside a Moroccan prison, from the moment you wake up until you rest your head at night.Hahaha...OK. Wake up about 8am,we have our own hob to cook food on so I make some breakfast, usually oats, fruit yogurt and protein shake, then 9:30am the door opens to go out to the yard so I usually do some cardio, interval training with sprints and stuff, train for about a one hour, then go back to the room and have a carb and protein drink, then i heat a big saucepan of water and tip it into a bucket a go into the toilet room to have a shower if that's what u want to call it. I use a pot to scoop the water out the bucket to tip over me, when I finish I have something to eat again, something light. The door closes again at 11am, I sleep a little, then the door opens at 2:30pm, there's a guy here who was a kickboxing champion Zakaria Moussaoui. Me and him do some Thai training, pad work sparring or kettle-bells, then at 5pm the door closes again till the morning. I have something to eat at 6pm, then i pass some time by reading some books or mags, watch some DVDs, UFC, movies. I see a great porno of Tito's wife getting the life f***** out of her by a bunch of dudes. That was pretty fun...not for him i bet :) Then at 10pm I eat again and about 1-2am i sleep. It's not too bad. Not the first three years four months I done by myself in solitary confinement. I didn't see no one. It was a f***** hole with rats & s*** coming out the hole u piss in It's not a prob when you piss, it's a prob when you have to squat over it to take a s***, praying a rat don't jump out and grab your balls :)
How comfortable are the facilities there? There's 23 people in the room at the moment, that's as full as it gets. The room has beds for 16 people, so the rest are on the floor. Usually there's about 18-19 which ain't too bad when you compare it to some rooms with 50 people in a room, it's like a gaint sardine can :) I've seen some crazy s*** since I've been here. I've been here coming up five years now, and you can see a lot of crazy s*** in that time. Now it's normal for me to see a guy walking around with his mouth sewn up because he refused to eat. Literally sewn up with a needle & thread!!
Do you have any special privileges?
No special s***, it's not like US or UK. If you're good you get special s***. This is Maghreb
bro!! What you earn in a day, these guards earn in a month.
Are you aware that the director of 'The Wrestler' and 'Requiem for a Dream', Darren Aronofsky, was working on a film about your life? I did hear something about that.
How do you feel now that Darren Aronofsky has abandoned the project for X-Men, Wolverine: Origins 2? What the f*** does an X-Men movie have to do with me? Do I have the leading role in it? Is he waiting for me to get out??
He stopped the project because it was rumored that he didn't want to ruin any opportunity for you to get out. Most of the movie would have been about the alleged bank heist. I'm confused,which project did he stop the x-men or the movie on me?
He placed your movie that he was going to make about your life on hold to work on the X-Men movie. I think it might be best that it's on hold at least until I've finished at the courts. Even still, how can a guy make a film based on my life who knows nothing about me? Don't tell me information based on the book 'The Heist'. I heard the author of that book wrote a load of bull****, I didn't even waste my time to read his book. I read the first few pages, signed it and gave it away to some English dude that was in here. Only I have the REAL info of my life. No one else.
If you were freed tomorrow and Dana White signed you to the UFC, how many months would it take you to realistically train and get back in shape in order to compete again? Six months. I always kept myself in good shape even when I was isolated by myself. It's easy now I have a sparring partner who has stand-up skills that could hold his own with most fighters in the welterweight and middleweight division in the UFC. I have kettle-bells, dumbbells, skipping ropes, bands, the only thing I'm missing here is the wrestling & BJJ, it wouldn't take me long to get back to the top and besides, I'm more hungry than ever. The first opponent would get a hole punched in his head.
Alright, first opponent: Tito Ortiz headlining a card or Anderson Silva in a non-title, undercard fight. Which opponent would satisfy you the most if you win in those two scenarios? Anderson, because he has a win over me. He is one up. I have nothing to prove by fighting Tito. I have one up on him, he doesn't have one up on me...but not to say I would fight him too if he wants to dance.
How do people treat you in there? Are you known as the 'bank heist guy'? Or the 'fighter' guy? Known as both really. Everybody is respectful, especially the guards. They joke about and stuff and treat me like a friend from outside, offer me to eat with them, it's better than being in a UK prison any day.
You allegedly masterminded the largest bank heist in the history of planet earth, which essentially means that every history major going through college from now until the end of the world will know of your name and read your story. Do you feel that grants you a sense of immortality?I truly believe I'm gonna be out sooner rather than later, and when I'm out, I'm gonna be back better than ever and If Dana gave me the chance to fight in the UFC again, which wouldn't be a problem now because i don't need a visa for certain countries, I would become UFC champion, without a doubt. I would bet dollars against doughnuts that I would be champ, and then I would be immortal. Can you imagine that story? That would be one hell of a story...I believe it's still possible!!
In your opinion, who do you think the greatest fighter in MMA currently is?Anderson has to be the greatest at the moment, but as great as he is, I still think I have tools to beat him. My biggest tool is that he fears me. I fought him to a decision and the real Lee Murray didn't turn up that night. After the fight, my trainers and friends were saying to me: 'What happened? That wasn't you in there'. I said 'the fire wasn't burning for some reason', but every fighter is entitled to an off night and that was my off night. But when the real Lee Murray turns up, he is a killer and comes to smash and break people's faces, jaws, eye sockets, skulls, cheek bones...my intention is not to submit you, it's to smash your head so hard that I break bones & knock you out cold. Silva fears that in me, I could smell it in the fight. He stood off me & didn't want to engage. He also kept trying to take me down. When does Anderson go for takedowns? I can beat him. There's not many fighters that can beat him, but I'm definitely one of them.
Are you aware of the organization called Strikeforce?Yeah, I'm aware of Strikeforce. I've watched a few fights from there on DVD. It seems my old mate, Robbie Lawler, is doing pretty good. That's good to see.
When do you expect to be released from prison?Morocco is the land of unexpected, they could come knock on my door tomorrow and say you're going home. If someone knows the king and puts in a good word for me, like when I'm released, I'm gonna represent Morocco and a great fighter is rotting away and he should be freed, then who knows. Maybe I will be released to fight another day.
Are you aware that we made a shirt called 'Free Lee Murray'?
I heard about the t-shirts and it's nice to know that there's people out there still rooting for me....i will never give up the fight!!
How do you want history to remember you?I want to get out and get back in the cage and be remembered as the toughest,baddest, scariest motherf***** to ever enter the cage. With what I could become plus my past history, that's one bad ass motherf*****!!
Are you aware that the UFC added two extra weight classes? Bantamweight and Featherweight?Yeah i heard that, they got the fighters from the WEC. They should make a cruiserweight at 205, light heavyweight at 190, middleweight at 180 then so on. 180 would be perfect for me.
Tito Ortiz denies that you knocked him out and claims the fight wasn't legitimate because he was wearing dress shoes. What's your response to this?Hahahaha, yeah he was wearing dress shoes and I went out clubbing that night wearing boxing boots. the f****** dumbass!!
It's reported that after the alleged bank heist, you claimed citizenship in Morocco and purchased a luxurious penthouse, how much did that cost you? I can't answer that one. Sorry. [long pause] I don't need to claim citizenship, I'm Moroccan. I got my citizenship the day I was born as a Moroccan, but unlucky for the dumb English police, they thought I was Turkish, maybe they should of done there homework a bit better then they wouldn't have been so disappointed. Don't believe everything you read!!
In 2009, you were freed because Moroccan law doesn't have a formal extradition treaty with the UK. What did you do when you were a free man?I was never freed, that's exactly what i mean...bull****.
If you're tired, we can continue the interview at another time [It was 3:39 AM in Morocco when this statement was made]. Keep going.
When you were in prison, it was reported that sometime in 2009, you tried to break out of your cell using tiny saws that were hidden in your food. The story goes that another prisoner broke into your cell, found the saws and informed the prison officials. Is any of that true? - Another story goes that you were caught with a laptop and new clothes, which you were punished for. Is that true?New clothes? That's the first time I've heard that new clothes are forbidden. We wear our own clothes in here, I have a big bag of my own clothes, they found a laptop in my room but the other stories, I know nothing about. They put me in the hole for six months for having it.
How are you keeping your phone powered? Do you have a charger and is it plugged into the wall?I have charger and mains.
Can you name who holds the heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight and lightweight belt in the UFC?Cain Velasquez, Shogun, Anderson, GSP, Edgar...am I right?
100% right. What's your opinion on Women's MMA?That Cris Cyborg is one bad ass. I would prefer to pay to watch her fight than most of the men (grapplers) fighters, maybe UFC should start thinking about putting some women fights on the undercard.
Thousands of people probably want me to ask this question, and I would be an idiot if I didn't: How did you do it? From the moment of inception to completion. Run us through it.Hahahaha, nice try.
What contact do you have to the outside world? Do you get the news? Sports? I get updates from my friends and family through my phone. You would probably say UFC is my number one sport, but sorry Dana, it's in fact number two. Number one is Tottenham Hotspur. Me and my family are Spurs mad since the day I was born.
What's your view of the afterlife?Afterlife?? What are you a f****** monk? :)
When we created the shirt, we got a lot of flack from our readers from the shirt, specifically that you allegedly kidnapped a family during the bank heist. Do you regret that part of the heist?I have no regrets on any part of my life, the way I lived my life has made me the man I am today I've done a lot of things a lot of other people would regret but I don't think you should regret anything in life, just learn from it instead.
Have you heard of a guy called Dan Quinn?Dan Quinn, who the f*** is he?
In the alleged heist, you were known as 'Stopwatch'. Why that name?Let me just give the officer in-charge of the case a call and ask him. How the f*** do I know? I've got a question for you, how come when I take a s*** it's brown?
How are you an Robbie Lawler friends? Next week he fights for the Strikeforce middleweight belt. Anything you want me to pass on to him? We trained many times together. Wish him the best of luck from me, he is a nice guy, Robbie.
If I send you a Free Lee Murray shirt, would you wear it?Would i wear it? I would look like a right c*** walking around the prison wearing a 'Free me' t-shirt. I would wear a Free OJ one if you sent that :)
There's a Strikeforce Grand-Prix that features Overeem vs. Werdum, Fedor vs. Bigfoot Silva. Arlovski vs. Kharitonov and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers. Who wins the entire thing and why? Fedor. His ground and pound will be too much for his opponents. Werdum got lucky last fight, I don't think he could pull that off a second time around.
Final question, when you realized that your bank heist was successful and you actually 'got away with it', what was going through your body? Relief? Adrenaline? What was the first thing you purchased with your newly acquired wealth? I was a millionaire before that heist, my friend.