Anthony Johnson, former UFC title challenger, passes away at the age of 38

The MMA community is mourning the loss of Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson.

‘Rumble’ Johnson fought 29 times in his career and walked away with 23 wins, including 17 that were incredibly brutal knockouts against the likes of Antônio Rogério Nogueira, Alexander Gustafsson, Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader and former Light Heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira in 13 seconds.

After losing at UFC 210 in a rematch for the UFC Light Heavyweight title vs. Daniel Cormier. Johnson announced his retirement from the UFC and combat sports effective immediately.

In August 2019, 2 years after initially announcing his retirement, Johnson confirmed that he would be re-entering the USADA testing pool.

Despite initial claims about moving up to heavyweight, Johnson eventually decided to stay in the light heavyweight division.

On December 9, 2020, it was announced that Johnson had signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA.

In the semi-finals of the Bellator Grand Prix, Johnson was scheduled to face the champion Vadim Nemkov, with the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship on the line, on October 16, 2021 at Bellator 268

On September 18, it was announced that Anthony Johnson was forced to pull out of the bout and the tournament due to an unspecified illness.

In an interview with ESPN, his manager Ali Abdelaziz has gone into slightly more detail on the situation.

“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.”

“I want to give a shoutout to Bellator, Scott Coker. They’ve been supporting him. You could not imagine how much support they’re giving them,” Abdelaziz added. “Anthony, be strong. A lot of people love you. He’s going to be okay, but he’s not doing well.”

This morning, Abdelaziz posted to Twitter saying he is heartbroken with other fights commenting under with prayers for the news that was later broken by UFC fighter Terrance McKinney who announced that Johnson had passed away at the age of 38.

We here at BodySlam send our thoughts and prayers to the family of Johnson, he will be remembered for his big heart, heavy hands and the impact he made on everyone in the MMA community.

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