After spending nearly one week in a coma, 28-year-old Josh Samman, a UFC middleweight fighter has died. Samman passed away in a Florida hospital following an apparent drug overdose.
He was hospitalized for five days. For two of those five days. he was pronounced brain-dead. Dr. Craig Mallak, the chief medical examiner of Broward County, says that the UFC fighter was declared dead while he was in hospice care on Wednesday.
According to Mallak, Josh Samman’s toxicology results were in and his cause of death would officially be listed as a “probable drug overdose.”
Officers from the Hollywood Police Department found Samman unresponsive but breathing and with a pulse in the home of MMA ring announcer Troy Jeffery Kirkingburg on September 29. Kirkingburg, 28, was found dead at the scene. Police responded to Kirkingburg’s home on North 58th Avenue after receiving a report of a drug overdose. A call was placed to 911 around 7:15 p.m.
Kirkingburg and Josh Samman were discovered by a friend, Hunter Sundberg, who immediately called 911. Sundberg performed CPR until authorities arrived. Police state that they found no evidence of foul play.
Samman was a native of Tallahassee. He became a professional MMA fighter in 2007. He starred in the reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter in 2013. While on the show Samman fought on the team coached by Jon Jones. He won two bouts before losing in the semifinals to Kelvin Gastelum, who went on to be crowned champion.
Josh Samman always spoke and wrote about his sport intelligently and was referred to at times as a “thoughtful fighter.” Samman contributed stories to different MMA news outlets including the Bloody Elbow and UFC. Samman often wrote about the MMA’s drug policy as well as his own struggle with drug abuse.
He also penned and self-published his autobiography entitled, The Housekeeper: Love, Death and Prizefighting. Samman was very honest in his autobiography about his issues he had with drugs.
Samman also wrote often about Hailey Bevis, his girlfriend who died in a car accident three years ago. She was texting Samman when she was involved in a one-vehicle accident.
Brian Stann, a retired fighter for the UFC, said that Samman would be greatly missed and that Samman was always kind and thoughtful. Samman fought his last fight in July.
Commentary by Tammy Marie Rose