On Wednesday, June 5, 2016, 28-year-old UFC middleweight Josh Samman passed away at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.
Last week, Samman was found unresponsive along with his friend Troy Kirkingburg, who was dead on the scene, at Kirkingburg’s Hollywood Beach Gardens apartment. According to police reports, who were responding to a suspected drug overdose call, Samman was alive, yet unresponsive when authorities arrived. A friend who was on the scene administered CPR until paramedics arrived. Police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman stated the police suspected no foul play regarding Samman’s condition at the time. Samman was in a coma at Memorial Regional Hospital since Saturday according to local reports from The Tallahassee Democrat. Samman passed away Wednesday.
As a fighter, Josh Samman racked up 12 wins while suffering only 4 losses as a professional mixed martial artist. It was on The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 where fans began to know Samman, a friendly man with a big personality that has a positive effect on so many people around him. Samman created the Florida-based fight promotion, Combat Night, which worked closely with a number of local charities and special causes. Josh was a writer as well, who expressed his struggles with addiction and injuries in his memoir titled, “The Housekeeper: Love, Death, and Prizefighting.” In an interview with MMA Latest before his fight with Tamdan McCrory, Samman spoke on his experiences in and outside of the cage:
“I’ve been doing this a long time, and each moment in the cage is a culmination of past successes and failures. Everything we do shapes our future self, in whatever endeavor we choose to pursue.”
Those closest to Samman will have nothing but great things to say about him and his captivating personality. Today, the MMA community mourns the loss of Samman.
RIP Josh Samman. Horrible news to hear. Prayers to his family.
— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) October 5, 2016
Josh Samman: Remembering a Friend https://t.co/Ocbop4bYLF
— Duane Finley (@DuaneFinleyMMA) October 5, 2016
— Truck Gordon (@TruckMMA_UFC) October 5, 2016
— Coach Jamie Huey (@coachjamiehuey) October 5, 2016
I cannot begin to say how sad I am to learn my dear friend and colleague, Josh Samman, has passed away. He was… https://t.co/wT9NtXYmEx
— Stephie Haynes (@CrooklynMMA) October 5, 2016
Shocking news, Josh Samman passed away.
We had him on Inside MMA and he talked about his rocky life and his new… https://t.co/frqaoi8dSR
— Bas Rutten (@BasRuttenMMA) October 5, 2016
Josh Samman had an artist's soul … https://t.co/g1w0uHT1mr
— Mike Chiappetta MMA (@MikeChiappetta) October 5, 2016
You can see the true measure of a man in the words others speak about them. Everyone loved Josh. He'll be deeply missed.
— E. Spencer Kyte (@spencerkyte) October 5, 2016
Josh Samman will be badly missed. Never a bad word about anyone. Always thoughtful and kind. Awful loss https://t.co/zfbS7vEzPN
— Brian Stann (@BrianStann) October 5, 2016
— Corey Anderson UFC (@CoreyA_MMA) October 5, 2016
Josh Samman 3/14/88 – 10/5/16. RIP. pic.twitter.com/5ulIm466R2
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 5, 2016
Sad news in the combat sports world again. 😔 RIP Josh Samman.
— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) October 5, 2016
Sad to hear news of UFC fighter Josh Samman's death. Condolences to his friends and family.
— Ken Hathaway (@kenshathaway) October 5, 2016
~RIP brother!! We will finish our match in heaven or perhaps in another life. May GOD protect & bless ur family Oss~ https://t.co/GkbEI3FvjF
— Oluwale♚Bamgbose🇳🇬 (@HolyWarAngelMMA) October 5, 2016
RIP @JoshSamman at the end of the day MMA is a community as much as it is a sport. Josh you will be missed.
— Shane Carwin (@ShaneCarwin) October 5, 2016
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) October 5, 2016
Here is a link to his memoir. The fight game needed Josh Samman. This is heartbreaking. https://t.co/Ak40AwzfxN
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) October 5, 2016
1. Josh Samman friended me on Facebook after he heard about how I lost both my parents and one of my best friends in the span of two months.
— Dave Doyle (@davedoylemma) October 5, 2016
2. We had about a half dozen conversations on Facebook about overcoming loss, coping with grief, and moving forward with your life.
— Dave Doyle (@davedoylemma) October 5, 2016
On top of being a successful fighter, promoter, & most importantly, a genuinely good person, Samman was a great/writer journalist, too
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 5, 2016
RIP Josh Samman. Hands down one of the nicest guys I ever had the pleasure of coming across whilst covering this sport . 🙏🏻 https://t.co/PoIJ7yAtbQ
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) October 5, 2016
Sad to hear this. When I met him in Sioux Falls he was of good spirits. We spoke of classical music & weight cutting. God be with the family https://t.co/97yhX7S36w
— Steven Wright (@steventhewarman) October 5, 2016
Sincerest condolences to Josh Samman's family. I very much enjoyed his fighting and his writing.
— Steven Marrocco (@MMAjunkieSteven) October 5, 2016
RIP Josh Samman. How tragic. My thoughts go out to his nearest and dearest. https://t.co/G7RCpT7zoj
— John Gooden (@JohnGoodenUK) October 5, 2016
— Jonathan Shrager (@JonathanShrager) October 5, 2016
— Reed Harris (@reedharrisufc) October 5, 2016
This just sucks https://t.co/RU72iOSpKf
— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) October 5, 2016
— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) October 5, 2016
— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) October 5, 2016
Josh Samman badly wanted to work in TV and we talked about it a lot. He hoped to get an audition @ FOX soon. Regret we never got that done.
— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) October 5, 2016
2016 has truly been a horrible year for MMA, with fighters such as Kimbo Slice, Ryan Jimmo and now Josh Samman, to name a few, passing away.
— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) October 5, 2016
RIP Josh Samman pic.twitter.com/N265OBRLlQ
— Dana White (@danawhite) October 5, 2016
Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”
MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.
Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.
Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?
I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.
Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?
I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened. They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.
Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?
I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.
It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 15, 2017
Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?
I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 16, 2017
I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.
Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!
2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures
After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.
Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.
Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.
At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.
For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.
Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.
Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:
- Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan 125 lbs
- Anna Astvik vs. Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
- Chamia Chabbi vs. Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
- C. McCrudden vs. Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
- Gase Sanita vs. Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
- Yernaz Mussabek vs. Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
- Gamzat Magomedov vs. O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
- Joel Arolainen vs. Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
- V. Andruhovich vs. Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
- Sola Axel vs. Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
- B. Haraldsson vs. Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
- Pavel Pahomenko vs. Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
- Irman Smajic vs. Lev Vins 265 lbs
- Atanas Krastanov vs. Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate
Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.
But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.
After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.
The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.
Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.
He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.
In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.
Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.
It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.
Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.
The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.
Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.
Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.
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