MMA champion, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, confirmed dead as his cause of death is unknown.
Former UFC light-heavyweight title contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson has passed away at the age of 38 after lengthy battles with an unspecified illness.
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The ex-fighter was due to fight for the Bellator light-heavyweight title in September of last year, but pulled out due to a health issue that persisted over the past year. His manager Ali Abdelaziz had asked fans as recently as last month to “pray” for the fighter, and it was confirmed this evening that he lost his battle with illness.
A journalist reports: “Horrible news:
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson passed away today. He was 38 years old.
Johnson had been battling an illness for quite some time.
One of the hardest hitters and most talented fighters in MMA history. Gone way too soon.
May he rest in peace.”
Last year, Johnson explained how sick he was during a social media post, which read: “Really wish I could go into detail about how ill I truly am. Just know I need as many prayers as I can get and I’ll see you in 2022 God willing. Never been this afraid of anything in my life but I’ve remained strong with the support of friends and family.”
The cause of death has yet to be announced.
Johnson is best remembered for a pair of UFC stints from 2007-2012 and 2014-2017. His first run with the promotion saw him emerge as an intriguing welterweight prospect with unmatched knockout power, while his second run occurred as a light heavyweight. It was during Johnson’s second UFC run that he defeated the likes of Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, Alexander Gustafsson, and Phil Davis, and earned two cracks at the light heavyweight championship.
He announced his retirement after a 2017 title fight loss to Daniel Cormier, but returned to competition in 2021 and fought once for Bellator, defeating Jose Augusto by second-round knockout. In October 2021, Johnson was to fight Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov as part of a grand prix tournament, but was forced to withdraw from that contest due to an undisclosed illness.
Johnson’s pro MMA record was 23-6 with 17 wins coming by way of KO/TKO.