THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST: Samman cause of death, event cancelled due to Penn injury, Jones, Rousey, Diaz, Mickey Gall, Russian kids MMA

By Michael Grocke, MMATorch contributor

Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 202 (photo credit © Joshua Dahl USA Today Sports)


UFC middleweight Josh Samman, who was declared dead at a Florida hospital Wednesday morning, died of a probable drug overdose, according to Broward County chief medical examiner, Dr. Craig Mallak.

Mallak said toxicology tests had been completed on Samman and that the probable drug overdose would be the official cause of death. Previous reports shortly after Samman’s death stated a toxicology report may not be possible.

Samman was found by a friend unresponsive alongside his roommate, Troy Kirkingburg Thursday night. Kirkingburg was pronounced dead on arrival while Samman had been in a coma since his discovery, and was brain-dead for two days.

Samman was a member of Jon Jones’s team on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter, losing in the semifinals to eventual winner Kelvin Gastelum. Jones, who has been relatively quiet on social media of late Tweeted “Rest In Peace @JoshSamman” Wednesday night.

Samman co-owned a Florida MMA promotion, Combat Night, had written a memoir, and did writing for as well and other outlets in addition to fighting. He was 28 years old.

Our own Matthew Peterson wrote a tribute to Samman yesterday: PETERSON: On Josh Samman and His Legacy

Hiscoe’s Analysis: Rest in peace, Josh Samman.


-The Oct. 15 UFC Fight Pass event from Manila has been cancelled after B.J. Penn had to pull out due to injury. Bryan Caraway had been lobbying to replace Penn, but UFC opted to cancel the event.

-A rematch between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson for Cormier’s Light Heavyweight Championship has been announced for UFC 206 in Toronto on Dec. 10. Read our full story with my analysis published last night HERE.

-Nate Diaz was issued a public warning by USADA for vaping cannabidiol at the UFC 202 post-fight press conference.

-Ronda Rousey’s coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, told the Los Angeles Times, to ask again in two months when Ronda Rousey would be fighting again.

-Jon Jones’s disciplinary hearing in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission that was scheduled for Monday has been postponed at the request of Jones’s legal team.

-A televised MMA broadcast in Russia is facing steep criticism for airing fights featuring children as young as 8 years old. Fedor Emelianenko, who is head of the Russian MMA Union, called the act “incomprehensible.” One of the child fighters was the son of Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

-Sage Northcutt vs. Mickey Gall is official for the Dec. 17 show from Sacramento.


(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.