UFC fighter Josh Samman dead at the age of 28
Josh Samman died Wednesday after being in a coma since last week, MMA Fighting confirmed with Broward County (Fla.) Medical Examiner and Trauma Services. He was 28 years old.
Officers from the Hollywood (Fla.) Police Department found Samman unresponsive, and his friend Troy Kirkingburg dead, last Thursday evening at Kirkingburg’s home, per a police release Monday. Samman was breathing and had a pulse at the time. The Tallahassee Democrat reported Saturday that Samman was in a coma.
Police responded to “a call of a possible drug overdose,” according to the statement.
Samman’s cause of death is not currently known, pending an autopsy, per Broward County Medical Examiner and Trauma Services chief medical examiner Craig Mallak. The Medical Examiner’s office will not administer a toxicology report, because Samman survived for days after being found and “there are no suitable specimens to test,” Mallak said. Mallak added there might not be a definitive cause of death found.
Kirkingburg’s cause of death will be determined after a toxicology report, Mallak said. Kirkingburg was 28 years old.
Samman, a native of Tallahassee and resident of South Florida, had past issues with drug addiction, suicidal thoughts and tragedy in his life, as chronicled by his book “The Housekeeper.” Samman’s girlfriend, Hailey Bevis, died in a car crash in 2013. Samman was crushed and guilt-ridden over her death — the couple was texting when she got into a single-car accident.
He returned to the Octagon following her death after more than a year away on Bevis’ birthday, knocking out Eddie Gordon with a head kick in December 2014. It was a fairytale comeback.
“This is for my mom, this is for Hailey, this is for everyone who has cared for me and helped me back to where I am today,” Samman said at the time.
After that, Samman threw himself into training and fighting as well as writing. In addition to “The Housekeeper,” Samman also wrote for UFC.com and a number of MMA websites. He recently wrote a three-part series on UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky and the UFC’s anti-doping partnership with USADA.
Samman had just tweeted last week that he had signed his next bout agreement Monday. He was reportedly supposed to face Oluwale Bambgose at UFC Fight Night 102 on Dec. 9 in Albany, N.Y.
Bout contract signed. Happy happy pic.twitter.com/JZcez6urXP
— Josh Samman (@JoshSamman) September 26, 2016
Samman had lost two in a row, most recently a second-round TKO loss to Tim Boetsch in July. Prior to that, he strung together a four-fight winning streak between 2012 and 2015. Samman was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 17 in 2013, falling to eventual winner Kelvin Gastelum in the semifinals.