Image source: ESPN
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has passed away at the age of 38.
Johnson was a former light-heavyweight title contender in UFC.
His death comes after a lengthy battle with an illness that has not yet been named.
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson was set to fight for the Bellator light heavyweight title in September 2021.
However, he had to postpone it last year due to ongoing health issues.
Ali Abdelaziz, Johnson’s manager, asked fans to pray for the fighter last month.
However, it was recently confirmed that he had lost his battle with the disease.
“Rumble, he’s going through some health problems right now. It’s very sad,” Abdelaziz said in an ESPN interview last month.
“I think I want everybody to pray for him. Pray for Anthony. It’s not going well. He’s very strong, spiritually. But pray for him.”
Anthony’ Rumble’ Johnson revealed how sick he was in 2021 with a social media post, writing:
“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.”
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Anthony “Rumble” Johnson fought twice for the UFC light heavyweight title but lost both times to Daniel Cormier.
The two met at UFC 187 in 2015 when Jon Jones was kicked out.
They then got their rematch in April 2017 at UFC 210.
Cormier won both matches by submission.
However, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s most notable victories are victories over world champions Glover Texeira and Ryan Bader.
He also defeated Jimi Manuwa and Alexander Gustafsson.
Johnson’s last appearance was at the light-heavyweight Grand Prix against Jose Augusto Azevedo.
He won the bout in the second round by knockout.
The competition happened in May 2021.
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When news of his death broke, many fighters took to social media to grieve for their fellow fighter.
Michael Chiesa paid tribute to Johnson, writing on Twitter:
“RIP Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson. One of the most prolific KO artists our sport has ever seen. My prayers go out to his family and everyone affected by this tragedy.”
Former UFC Jake Shields also said:
“Just heard the sad news they [sic] Anthony Rumble Johnson has passed away. RIP brother.”
Terrence McKinney shared his condolences:
“Rumble Johnson passed away. The MMA community lost a legend and I will continue to pray for his family.”
Anthony ‘Rumble Johnson dead: ex-UFC star dies aged 38 after illness