A veteran UFC fighter has died after spending nearly a week in a coma after he was found unconscious at a Florida home alongside his roommate who died later that day.
Josh Samman, 28, was found unresponsive at an address in Hollywood, Florida, according to local media.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Samman's roommate, Troy Kirkingburg, who is a MMA ring announcer was found alongside the a middleweight fighter and was pronounced dead on his arrival at hospital.
In a statement, police say they responded to the "call of a possible drug overdose". Samman was hospitalised, where he was put into a coma. No foul play was suspected, but officials are yet to determine the exact cause of death.
Samman had prevoiously documented his struggle with drugs, highlihgting the matter in a 2013 memoir titled The Housekeeper: Love, Death and Prize Fighting. A statement released by his mother to Fox Sports on Monday denied these claims, however.
"In spite of speculation, there was no heroin found in Josh's system whatsoever," the statement read. "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."
The MMA fighting community was left reeling at the shocking discovery.
"There are so many people in town here who were inspired to get into this sport because of Josh," Sky Rudloe, 36, a fellow MMA fighter and owner of the gym in Tallahassee where Samman worked out, told the Tallahassee Democrat.
"We are just sitting here with held breath hoping for the best and praying. It kind of hit us all right in the teeth."
"There's not enough good stuff to say about the both of them," Rudloe added.
The details of what happened are still unclear but the paper was told by bloggers and friends that Samman and Kirkingburg were found by emergency responders early on Friday morning.
Samman has had a troubled past. He was forced to leave the sport after nearly losing his leg aged 21 after he pulled a muscle and suffered a blood clot.
He made a comeback but was hit by tragedy again three years ago when his girlfriend, Hailey Bevis, died in a car crash while the two were texting.
Meanwhile, Kirkingburg's fiance, Charlene Cristobal, said told the Tallahassee Democrat that his death had left her heartbroken.
"I am extremely heartbroken over the loss of the man who will always be the love of my life," Ms Cristobal said.
Fellow ringside announcer Christopher J. Rothstein posted on Facebook that the news had left him feeling "kind of numb".
"Hard to think about the situation without tears coming to my eyes," he wrote on his Facebook page.
Samman joined the UFC in 2013 and amassed a 9-2 record in lower competitions. He won his first three fights, while grabbing Performance of the Night accolades in stoppage time victories over Eddie Gordon and Caio Magalhães.
However, consecutive losses following his first three wins saw him drop to 31st in the UFC middleweight class rankings.
Samman was set to fight Oluwale Bamgbose at UFC Fight Night 102 on 9 December in Albany, New York.