Tallahassee native Josh Samman passes away
Published on Tuesday, 10/4/16, at 8:19 a.m. Eastern.
UPDATE Josh Samman has passed away. The text below was written before his death.
UFC middleweight and Tallahassee native Josh Samman remains in a coma and in critical condition. The Hollywood Police Dept. responded to a 911 call Thursday (9/29) night to find Samman “with a pulse but unresponsive” next to his roommate and friend, Troy Kirkingburg, who was already dead at their apartment in South Fla.
A friend had found the two men and called 911 out of concern for a drug overdose. He administered CPR until authorities arrived.
The police report indicated that there were no signs of foul play.
Kirkingburg was an MMA ring announcer for the Florida promotion that Samman owns, Combat Night MMA. Samman’s mother released this statement on Monday:
“Josh is still in a coma, and more tests are being done. That is the latest update on my son’s condition. And in spite of speculation, there was no heroin found in Josh’s system whatsoever. No matter what people are posting on social media.
“The reason I am making this statement is, because Josh touched so many lives, and loved inspiring others, especially young people. I don’t want them to lose faith in him, and whatever he brought out in them, because of the lies. He would want them to “never give up.”
Samman was a participant on Season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter. He owns a 3-2 UFC record in the middleweight loop. His career highlight came in 2014 when he scored a headkick knockout of Eddie Gordon.
Samman’s life was hit by tragedy on Aug. 30 of 2013 when his girlfriend, 22-year-old Hailey Kate Bevis, died in a one-car accident while texting Josh during a storm on her drive back to Tallahassee from Hollywood, where she was living with Josh.
In addition to his fighting career, Samman is a gifted and thoughtful writer for a number of MMA blogs, including Bloody Elbow. He recently wrote a novel,”The Housekeeper: Love, Death and Prizefighting,” about his life, his struggles and his passion for mixed martial arts.