RIP Anthony Johnson
Former UFC light heavyweight title contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson has passed away at the age of 38 after lengthy battles with an unspecified illness.
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.”
During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Johnson’s manager Ali Abdelaziz provided a grim update.
“Rumble, he’s going through some health problems right now. It’s very sad,” Abdelaziz said. “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.”
The news of Anthony Johnson’s passing was made public by UFC welterweight contender Michael Chiesa and later confirmed by others.
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. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 https://t.co/TYAu2wxn2u
— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) November 13, 2022
Johnson boasted a professional MMA record of 23-6 and twice battled former champion Daniel Cormier for the title.
‘Rumble’ was due to fight for the Bellator light heavyweight title in September 2021 but pulled out due to a health issue that persisted over the past year.
Johnson was one of the most feared strikes in MMA and while most of his career was fought up at 205-pounds, ‘Rumble’ first began his career with the UFC down at welterweight.
In the latter years of his combat sports career, Johnson joined thte Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) team, taking on a role as Head of Fighter Relations.
During his tenure with UFC, Johnson earned the most ‘sub-minute’ knockout wins in UFC history with five. He debuted for UFC in 2007 and amassed a 22-6 MMA record with 16 knockout wins. Johnson was a college wrestler who fought in the welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. He owns wins over notable names such as Alexander Gustafsson, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira throughout his MMA career.
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