Despite falling short of the TUF Finale 17 title fight, Josh Samman made it to the show, in what would probably be his one and only chance to shine. Facing Kevin Casey on the preliminary portion of the card, Samman seemed about set to go down in flames. Within the first few seconds of the fight, he was in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt's world, trapped in a triangle, and facing sure defeat.
Samman struggled to retain consciousness, and worked his way out, only to then find himself in an arm bar. That, too, seemed destined to end in a tap.
"Man, I was so scared when he locked the arm bar and then the triangle," Samman said afterward. "I just thought to myself, 'I can't go out this quick.'"
Samman escaped again, and from there, the fight was his. Utilizing a powerful clinch, he battered Casey over the next round-and-a-half until finally finishing him at 2:17 of the second.
"I told my corner before I went out there tonight that I was going to finish him with knees, and that's what I went out to do," he said.
Casey seemingly had no answer for the position, as Samman slammed strikes from all angles, from knees to uppercuts and short punches. It appeared to be a crushing knee to the body that led to the finishing sequence, with Samman landing a hard ground strike before the ref stepped in.
Samman improved to 10-2 overall, while Casey fell to 5-3.