Shockwaves were sent through the mixed martial arts community yesterday when news that former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Johnson had passed away.
The cause of death was organ failure due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, which is a rare disorder of the immune system.
At one time in his career, Johnson had worked his way up to compete for the title against arguably one of the greatest mixed martial artists to have ever competed inside the UFC octagon in Jon Jones.
The two men came together to prank UFC President Dana White at a press conference. Months earlier, Jones and Daniel Cormier faced off a press conference that got out of hand and former UFC exec Dave Sholler was thrown to the floor.
When Jones and Johnson faced off for their pending bout, White was the man in the middle. The two men appeared to go after one another, but White was left in the dark as the fighters had colluded to prank the UFC frontman into thinking they were going to start a fight with one another.
The fight between Jones and Johnson never took place as Jones was stripped of his title after being involved in a hit and run. Johnson then fought Cormier for the interim strap, and the rest is history.
Earlier today, “Bones” Jones posted a tribute to Johnson on Instagram.
“Honored to call you a friend, rest in peace King 👊🏾”
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