Former UFC light heavyweight title contender Anthony Johnson has died after a long illness.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Anthony Johnson dies after battle with an unknown disease
Bellator MMA, an American mixed martial arts promotion agency, delivered sad news on Sunday.
The message said, ‘It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson.’
It added that ‘the BELLATOR family is deeply saddened by his sudden passing and express our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time’.
In any event, Johnson was due to fight for the light heavyweight title for Bellator last September. However, he was excluded from the competition due to health problems.
🙏 We are very saddened by the passing of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.
The BELLATOR family is deeply shocked by his sudden passing and we send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/TqZzN1wquY
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) November 13, 2022
Still, the star’s struggles seem to have continued over the past year.
Moreover, Johnson’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, last month asked fans to pray for the fighter.
He said, ‘Pray for Antonio. It doesn’t work out. He is very strong spiritually. But pray for him.’
Johnson also shared an ominous post with his fans on Instagram.
I’ve recovered and now my heart breaks because you won’t come back 💔 pic.twitter.com/Iq0u9q1rCX
— People’s Champ (@YoelRomeroMMA) November 13, 2022
‘I wish I could tell you more about how sick I really am,’ he said. Please know that I need as many prayers as I can get. And I will see you in 2022 with God’s will.’
The former fighter had 11 KO wins while in the UFC. He challenged for the UFC light heavyweight title from 2007 to 2017, but lost to Daniel Cormier on both occasions.
Beyond that, he competed in three different weight classes during his 10-year career in the UFC. Thus, his name was included in the list of the strongest punchers the organization has ever witnessed.
UFC fighters mourn Anthony Johnson.
Several stars from the UFC and WWE communities paid tribute to Anthony Johnson’s sudden death via social media.
Former mixed martial artist Daniel Cormier said, ‘For a man who instilled fear in the hearts of many, Anthony Johnson was a caring man. From random text messages to check-in in case of loss. The Rumble will be missed for who he was. Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. Terrible news.’
Meanwhile, Michael Chiesa, an American mixed martial artist, posted on his Twitter, “RIP Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson.” One of the most prolific KO artists we’ve seen in our sport. My prayers go out to his family and all affected by this tragedy.’
Fans pay tribute to former UFC star Anthony Johnson on Twitter.
Rest in peace, brother. For a man who strikes fear in the hearts of many, Anthony Johnson was a caring man. From random texts to check-ins at a loss. The Rumble will be missed for who he was. Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. terrible news #May the souls of the deceased refrain #rumble squad @Anthony_Rumble pic.twitter.com/HH2SO1dPj7
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) November 13, 2022
RIP Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. One of the most KO artists we’ve seen in sports. Prayers to his family and to all those affected by this tragedy. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 https://t.co/TYAu2wxn2u
— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) November 13, 2022
RIP Anthony Johnson. so sad 😢 pic.twitter.com/XPicS2jlkn
— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) November 13, 2022