Josh Samman – A Great Fighter/Writer/Promoter of our time

mma gateway josh samman fighterNow if your not a hardcore fan of MMA, you may not know who Josh Samman is, but Josh was an incredibly talented martial artist, writer and promoter of our time. He sadly passed away on Wednesday 5th October 2016, after a week in a coma from a suspected drug overdose at the age of 28.

He was found with his friend local MMA announcer Troy Kirkingburg, the previous Thursday unresponsive in his Florida apartment. Kirkingburg was pronounced dead at the scene, while Samman was rushed to hospital, where he lapsed into a coma for a week until his death.

Now for those of you who don’t know who Josh Samman was, then let me be the one to tell you – first off he was an excellent martial artist amassing an impressive 12-4 record in MMA, punctuated  with an excellent run on the Ultimate fighter season 17 tv show, and a solid 3-2 record in the UFC after.

Secondly he was a brilliant writer, as a columnist for the MMA website Bloodyelbow.com, as well as writing his own book called “The Housekeeper: Love, Death and Prizefighting” which came out on April 20th 2016. In this book he details the tragic death of his girlfriend Isabel in 2013 due to a car crash, how that affected him psychologically in tandem with a battle with drug abuse, and a general deep mosaic of his journey as an MMA fighter and his life in general.

Also Josh Samman was an excellent promoter, he was CEO of Floridas largest MMA fight promotion Combat Night, and as far as i am aware he was the only American UFC fighter under contract with his own promotion, which is feat that cannot be overlooked.

He was so passionate about the sport of MMA, that he did everything he possibly could to not only be a great martial artist, but to also give local fighters in his area the opportunity to get valid pro experience on their route to the UFC though his Combat Night promotion.

No matter what anyone says about Josh Samman, i was deeply saddened to hear of his passing – for me anyone who walks a journey of writing and martial arts is someone i can associate with on many levels.

Now I don’t want to offend anyone here, but i do have a very conspiratorial based mind at times, so i want to point out a a few strange occurrences around his death – now the only reason i want to say some of these things, is because Josh Samman’s mother has been denying that Heroin was involved in his death. She stated to RT –

“In spite of speculation, there was no heroin found in Josh’s system whatsoever. No matter what people are posting on social media.”

So with all respects to Josh’s family and friends, i do want to say a few things – firstly inline with what his mother said, i find it very strange that Josh Samman was accused of having heroin in his system straight away on social media as soon as news of his death broke without any evidence, and there is no evidence whatsoever to corroborate those claims.

Also i find it strange as i mentioned earlier, that to my knowledge he was in fact the only American UFC fighter under contract who had his own successful MMA promotion. Not that this means anything overly obvious, but is an interesting fact to note.

Many people also noted, that in recent months Josh had been growing his hair/beard out very long, so long in fact that it actually made him resemble Jesus. Then to add to that, in May he had a trip to Jerusalem in Israel, where he apparently met some long lost family relations or something to that effect. Again interesting to note again some might say.

Also while i am not pointing any fingers or accusing anybody of anything, but i do want to point out the facts, because in hindsight now, there is a very eerie statement that a fighter said to Josh in a Tweet a month ago. Josh was hoping to book a fight with Oluwale “Holy War Angel” Bamgbose for UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden.

Now while it is completely common for fighters to throw nasty remarks at each other in a lead up to a fight, it usually requires some serious heated rivalry for death threats to come up in conversations between fighters, or maybe one of the fighters is a bit mentally unstable in general, and also we know there is sometimes manufactured disputes to sell pay-per-views.

However i don’t know about you, but personally iv’e never taken any death threat lightly, whether serious or not, whether the person saying it to me was mentally impaired or not, and i don’t know any fighters that do either unsurprisingly.

Bamgbose had lost to Josh Sammans training partner Cezar Ferreira in April this year, and after Bamgbose and Samman started a twitter conversation about fighting each other, when Samman jested about his partner beating Bamgbose, the response that Bamgbose stated was chilling in the context here –

Ur lose is my command. Ur teammate escaped murder u wont

Now again i must stress that i am not stating that Oluwale Bamgbose had anything remotely to do with Josh Sammans death, because fighters make some very outlandish statements sometimes, for macho bravado and acting to hype a fight, but i think we can all agree it is a scary comment in hindsight of Joshs untimely demise recently in rather strange circumstances, and im just noting that.

I do not have the evidence or the right to throw accusations upon anyone regarding foul play, so i do not believe Bamgbose was involved, but all i am highlighting is some strange occurrences that have happened around the time of his passing, and in defence of Bamgbose upon hearing news of Josh Sammans passing, Bagmbose posted this comment on twitter –

“~RIP brother!! We will finish our match in heaven or perhaps in another life. May GOD protect & bless ur family Oss~”

Josh Samman himself was someone who had a conspiratorial mind himself, as well as a very high intellect, and is often referred to in the MMA community as being the most intelligent fighter in the industry. We can all agree that from the tragedy of his girlfriend passing, to his own passing and everything  in between and before, Joshs life was full of controversy.

But ultimately all conspiracy aside, i just wanted to write this  article to praise the life of Josh Samman, because regardless of what actions brought him to his end at such a young age, his body of work in his life here in this world was one that anyone can be proud of. He was a truly phenomenal human being, who will be sorely missed by his family, friends and everyone in the MMA community around the world – in my mind he is an MMA hall of famer, a true pioneer that will always be remembered by those of us who supported and cared for him.

RIP Josh Samman, 14th march 1988 – 5th October 2016.



Marley Dawkins

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.