Inside the cage this week we saw some amazing fights, outside the cage…we bore witness to absolute craziness and some sad news.

UFC middleweight, Josh Samman, passed away on Thursday (Australian time) after spending close to a week in a coma. Rumours are floating around on the internet that this was due to a drug overdose, but nothing has been confirmed yet. Earlier in 2016 Samman released a book, The Housekeeper: Love, Death and Prizefighting, in which he detailed his struggles with drug abuse. Josh was only 28…
Rest in peace.
 

Image: Josh Samman MMA Facebook

Image: Facebook


 

UFC Fight Night 96 went down over the weekend and provided a few hours of solid entertainment. Two fighters, John Lineker and Alex Oliveira, missed weight and both went on to win their fights. There were also plenty of groin shots at UFC Fight Night 96 and of course the slow motion replays.
 


 
The main event of UFC Fight Night 96 between John Dodson and John Linkeker was a 25 minute back and forth battle. The fight was ridiculously close but Lineker walked out of the cage the victor. Lineker was constantly pressuring Dodson, Dodson was elusive and landed crisp counter shots. With no takedowns in this fight the significant strikes tell a different tale…Lineker landed 93 of 322 significant strikes, Dodson landed 101 of 191. Perhaps the judges were swayed by Lineker’s aggressive style. At this point in time judging is still very subjective and guided by a scoring system that doesn’t make sense for MMA. Hopefully we see a change soon.
 

 
The rest of the card also lived up to the hype, but yet again we saw some pretty disrespectful post fight action. Alex Oliveira put Will Brooks, who injured his rib in the second round, away with less than a minute remaining in the fight. Oliveira walked away throwing gestures at Brooks that are more at home on The Sopranos and WWE. Brooks didn’t take kindly to these gestures, or the fact that Oliveira missed weight by 5lb, and got up to confront Oliveira, before collapsing on the ground in agony. Pretty classless Mr Oliveira. Poor form.
 

via GIPHY

 
Social media was dominated by Julian ‘The Jackal’ Wallace this week and, once again, for all the wrong reasons. Wallace, who fought for XFC, physically attacked his fiancé, Jessy Jess. Wearing Timberland boots, Wallace kicked Jess in the head, then tried to choke her out. Jess is also a professional MMA athlete and eventually broke free, returning the favour by knocking Wallace out. Allegedly, the cause of this situation was Jess bringing home the wrong noodles…Thankfully she knows how to defend herself…
 

Image: Julz the Jackal Facebook

Image: Facebook


 
Once XFC learned about the situation they immediately cut ties with the disgraced fighter. After pleading guilty, Wallace went on to distribute sensitive information and photos of Jess over the internet. A total scumbag move.
 
Image: XFC Facebook

Image: XFC Facebook


 
This incident was mirrored in the US in the same week when UFC athlete, Michael Graves, punched and elbowed his fiancé in the face, in the middle of the street. The UFC replied by pulling Graves from his fight on November 19. No excuses, that shit’s just not on.

Jose Aldo wants out of his UFC contract. Apparently not even a rematch with Conor McGregor could convince him to stay…And we know that would mean big dollars for all parties involved. Aldo wants to get out of his contract not to pursue competing in other MMA organisations, but potentially to pursue options in other sports. As Aldo was a decent football (soccer) player in his youth, you’d assume that’s the sport he would like to be involved with.

Finally, the entirety of next week’s UFC Fight Night 97 card has been pulled. BJ Penn had to pull out due to injury…But rumour has it that the card was canceled due to the Philippine government wanting to drug test all members of the UFC staff. The UFC has said that they will reschedule another event in Manila down the track.
 


 

There’s a bit of action going on this weekend. Here’s some of what’s coming up…

 
We’ve got UFC 204 and, as you’d expect with a PPV, it is absolutely stacked. In the main event the middleweight champion, Michael Bisping, defending his title against Dan Henderson, who is competing at the ripe age of 46. Bisping is undefeated when fighting in the UK. In their last encounter, all the way back at UFC100, Henderson hit Bisping with the infamous flying forearm, as Bisping lay unconscious on the ground. Henderson used this image to form his logo. To say that there is bad blood between these two is an understatement.
 

Image: Facebook

Image: Facebook


 
With the continued guidance of Justin Parillo Bisping has been looking amazing of late, outboxing Anderson Silva and Luke Rockhold in his last two appearances. However, despite his age, you can never count Dan Henderson out. Apparently win, lose or draw, this will be Henderson’s last fight. Having won the Pride middleweight and welterweight championships and the Strikeforce light heavyweight title, a win would be the ultimate send off for the MMA veteran.

The co-main event is Vitor Belfort versus Gegard Mousasi, a fight that has been years in the making. The rest of the card doesn’t look like it will disappoint either…The #5 ranked light heavyweight, Ovince Saint Preux, will face #8, Jimi Manuwa. Earlier, two European heavyweights, Stefan Struve and Daniel Omielanczuk, will square off in what should be an exciting bout. The prelims are pretty action packed too, with Brad Pickett and Iuri Alcantara set to close the card.

If that’s not enough for you there are also events being put on by Brace, One FC and Eurasia Fight Nights over the weekend too…Plenty to keep us occupied.