The Ultimate Fighter 17 competitor Josh Samman made it all the way through the season, only losing in the semifinal round to Kelvin Gastelum. Perhaps even more impressive, he made it through an entire season as a weekly correspondent with official MMAWeekly.com content partner Knockout Radio.
On Saturday night, Samman squares off with fellow TUF 17 alum Kevin Casey at the TUF 17 Finale in Las Vegas. Before he settled in for fight time, however, he spoke with Knockout Radio, giving his thoughts on the fight.
Knockout Radio: We’re talking to Josh Samman, competitor on this season’s TUF. Now going over to this Saturday’s card, we were looking at it and you are the last fight on the Fuel card… and Bubba McDaniel, who didn’t go as far in the season, is the first fight on the main event card. Do you find that interesting; does it matter at all. What are your thoughts on that?
Josh Samman: It definitely matters. And I was giving Bubba (expletive) about it yesterday. Man, I’m not going to hide it, I’m jealous, all of us are jealous. And that’s something we actually have to give Gilbert (Smith) credit for. Gilbert was the one that set that up. Gilbert’s the one that, he called Dana himself and said, “Hey, I want to fight Bubba. Bubba was talking (expletive) the whole season,” is what Gilbert said.
Bubba and Gilbert didn’t see eye to eye the whole time. But even between them, for example again (at a viewing party for the final episode of TUF 17) everybody was very friendly and even those two were all hugs and handshakes. But I guess Gilbert felt disrespected at some point throughout the season and wanted to fight Bubba, so he set that up and they have a little grudge match. It’s teammate versus teammate and I think that’s how they found themselves on the FX card.
Knockout Radio:It’s funny you mention that, because Sean had said that about teammate versus teammate. Do you really consider guys that you were together with for six or seven weeks as teammates, now that you have been away from each other for so long?
Josh Samman: Absolutely. These are guys I still talk to almost every day, so these are guys, I have my teammates who I have trained on a team with for years, but even my close teammates, who I’m in the car with right now that I’ve been with for years, until they go through The Ultimate Fighter experience, no one really knows what it’s like to live with these guys and have yourself cut off from the rest of the world, to be in complete isolation and have nothing but these guys. For seven weeks, this tournament and my teammates were my life and that’ll always be a time that is special to me. And I’d like to stay these guys’ teammates for the rest of my career and the rest of my life.
Knockout Radio: Tell us a little bit about Saturday taking on, in the (Fuel TV prelims) main event, Kevin Casey.
Josh Samman: Kevin Casey, man. You know, a lot of people dislike Kevin. I think he caught more (expletive) this season than even Bubba or I did from the fans and from the guys behind the keyboards and the monitors. But I didn’t dislike Kevin one bit. I think he kind of has a persona that he plays into and it rubs people the wrong way.
But I think Kevin is a smart guy. I just think that, regarding the match-up itself, Kevin has quit in him. I think I’ll find it and I think I’ll beat it out of him in the first round or the second round.
Knockout Radio: How excited are you for Saturday? In The Ultimate Fighter is one thing and they’re not official and all that kind of stuff, to have an official UFC fight on Saturday.
Josh Samman: The Ultimate Fighter fights, you have the gloves that say “UFC” on them and you’re fighting in front of Dana White, but it’s not the Mandalay Bay and there’s not thousands of screaming fans and my friends and family who are flying all the way out from Florida, so the situation is definitely different. The Ultimate Fighter was special, as I said, but this is definitely my UFC debut and I intend on making it a good one.
Knockout Radio: Josh, congratulations on a very successful run on The Ultimate Fighter. Looking forward to Saturday, I want to thank you for being on the program.
Josh Samman: Thank you guys so much for having me on, man. This season has been great, it as been a great experience, and I loved being on the show with you guys and I’ll talk to you guys next Wednesday.