Two-Time UFC Title Challenger Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson Dies At 38

The MMA community expressed their sympathies.

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, an MMA light heavyweight competitor with a career record of 23-6, died at the age of 38.

 

Bellator MMA reported Johnson’s passing on social media on Sunday. According to a Bellator representative, Johnson has reportedly been unwell for more than a year. According to Yahoo Sports, it was organ failure due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

 

“The BELLATOR family is devastated by his untimely passing, and we send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time,” the publication said.

 

Johnson had six decisions and 17 knockouts during his career. His final match occurred in May 2021.

 

Johnson said on Instagram in September 2021 that he was fighting and needed “as many prayers as I can get,” adding that it was “NOT COVID.”

 

Johnson shared on Instagram on May 17 that his doctor had given him encouraging news, noting that there had been “big improvements.”

 

In late October, Johnson’s manager told ESPN that Johnson was “going through some health problems right now … he’s not doing well.”

 

Daniel Cormier, a two-time Olympian, and MMA fighter, stated his sympathies on social media, saying, “for a guy who struck fear into so many people’s hearts, Anthony Johnson was a caring person.”

 

“From random text to check ins during loss,” Cormier said. “What a person he was … sometimes life doesn’t seem fair.”

 

From 2007 through 2017, Johnson competed in the UFC, losing twice to Cormier for the light heavyweight belt.

 

In the UFC, Johnson competed in three weight classes, earning a reputation as a fierce puncher and a fan favorite for his direct, striking-based style of MMA.

 

Johnson left the UFC in 2017 after losing his second belt to Cormier, but he made a brief comeback in 2021 with Bellator before his health issues worsened.

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