The history of the UFC is littered with fighters who, for one reason or another, were one and done with the promotion. Such fighters are largely a rarity – particularly in the modern era – as most are given at least two or three fights to prove themselves in, and so often, these one-and-done fighters are quite noteworthy.
Here at Sportskeeda, we’ve already discussed 5 of the most memorable one-and-done fighters in UFC history – Rolles Gracie, Roger Gracie, James Toney, Sean Gannon and Jonathan Wiezorek – but here are 5 more that are worth discussing.
Again, like with the initial list, a small caveat: no fighters coming off a season of The Ultimate Fighter will be considered due to the nature of their one-fight deals, nor will fighters who stepped into the Octagon during the pre-Zuffa days of the promotion.
#1 Lee Murray
Hailing from London, England, Lee Murray was signed by the UFC in late 2003 after putting together a record of 7-1 on the regional circuit, but in all honesty, it wasn’t his in-cage reputation that won him his contract. ‘Lightning Lee’ was largely brought in due to a fearsome reputation as a street fighter, and because – as legend would have it – he knocked out then-UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz in a brawl in London during a UFC 38 after-party.
Murray was matched with fellow brawler Jorge Rivera in his Octagon debut at UFC 46, but to the surprise of everyone, he actually ended up winning the fight via submission, slapping on a triangle choke/armbar combination after Rivera took him down in the early moments of the fight. Murray claimed ‘El Conquistador’ was afraid of his punching power.
Despite UFC fans clamouring for a “real” fight between Murray and Ortiz, the promotion instead matched ‘Lightning Lee’ with Patrick Cote for his second Octagon outing – but due to his shady past, the Englishman was denied a Visa to enter the US, scuppering the fight. Murray instead fought – and lost to – future UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva for the UK’s Cage Rage promotion.
Despite the loss, UFC fans still wanted to see Murray return, but it wasn’t to be; 2005 saw him stabbed in a nightclub brawl, leaving him with a punctured lung and needing to be resuscitated 4 times. And 2006 got even crazier, as he was involved in the infamous Securitas depot robbery – an incident that saw Murray and his accomplices escape with over £53m in banknotes.
Murray fled to Morocco, where he was eventually arrested and jailed for his part in the robbery. As of the time of writing, he’s currently incarcerated and is working through a 25-year sentence.