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
Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223
UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.
Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.
After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.
A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.
Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.
Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.
A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.
Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet
Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.
“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”
Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.
“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”
Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.
“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”
Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April
MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.
The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.
Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.
An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.
His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).
Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.
PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.
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