Bellator fighter and two-time UFC title challenger Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson has died at 38. He had been ill for more than a year.
Bellator took to Twitter to inform its followers the passing away of the Mixed Martial Artist (MMA) fighter. "The BELLATOR family is devastated by his untimely passing and we send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.
Johnson, during the second UFC run, had defeated the likes of Glover Teixeira, Alexander Gustafsson, Ryan Bader and Phil Davis. He retired in 2017 after a title loss to Daniel Cormier only to return in 2021 to fight for Bellator once more. Johnson was recognized for a pair of UFC feats from 2007-2012 and 2014-2017. He emerged as an intriguing welterweight prospect with unmatched knockout power.
Johnson is said to have been suffering from health problems for more than a year. In September 2021, the fighter told followers on Instagram that he needed as many prayers as he can get and was in a battle. He said it was NOT COVID. Then on May 17, he shared good news from his doctor... "big improvements".
However, in late October Johnson's manager said Johnson was going through some health problems. "He's not doing well." The illness or disease has not been disclosed, but its being said that Johnson passed away to organ failure due to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis – a rare disorder of the immune system.
Condolences Pour In
Fellow MMA fighter and amateur wrestler Daniel Cormier said 'rest easy my brother'. "For a guy who struck fear in so many people's heart Anthony Johnson was a caring person. From random text to check ins during loss. What a person he was, Rumble will be missed. Sometimes life doesn't seem fair. Horrible news."
Michael Chiesa, also an MMA, said it was a huge loss. "RIP Anthony "Rumble" Johnson. One of the most prolific KO artists our sport has ever seen. My prayers go out to his family and every one affected by this tragedy."
Dana White, UFC President, said Johnson was a great kid. "He was always in fun fights and he had that one-punch KO power that not many people ever had. He was a good human being. I send my condolences to the family."