Image source: ESPN
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has died aged 38.
Johnson was a former UFC light heavyweight title contender
His death comes after long battles with an unspecified illness.
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson was scheduled to fight for the Bellator light heavyweight title in September 2021.
However, he was forced to push it back in the past year due to persistent health issues.
Ali Abdelaziz, Johnson’s manager, asked fans for prayers for the fighter last month.
This evening, it was 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 a social media post last year, 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 challenged twice for the light-heavyweight title in the UFC but lost to Daniel Cormier both times.
The two met at UFC 187 in 2015 when Jon Jones was forced out.
They later had their rematch in April 2017 at UFC 210.
In both matches, Cormier won via submission.
However, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson’s most notable victories are beating world champions, Glover Texeira and Ryan Bader.
He also managed to beat Jimi Manuwa and Alexander Gustafsson.
Johnson’s recent appearance was at the light-heavyweight Grand Prix against Jose Augusto Azevedo.
He won the match in the second round by knockout.
The competition took place in May 2021.
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When news of his death broke, many fighters took to social media to express their condolences.
Michael Chiesa paid tribute to Johnson on Twitter, writing:
“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 wrote:
“Just heard the sad news they [sic] Anthony Rumble Johnson has passed away. RIP brother.”
Terrence McKinney also 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