Thursday, December 8, 2022

UFC And MMA Legend Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson Dies At 38

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, a former UFC championship challenger, passed away at the age of 38 years following a protracted illness that has not been identified.

The former fighter withdrew from the Bellator light heavyweight title match, which was scheduled for September 2021, due to a health concern.

Over the previous year, the health issue persisted, and his manager Ali Abdelaziz had just last month requested supporters to “pray” for the boxer. The UFC star’s struggle with the illness was declared over Saturday night.

“Rumble, he’s going through some health problems right now. It’s very sad,” Abdelaziz said during an ESPN interview in October. “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.”

Although he never specified what the illness was, ‘Rumble’ opened up on the situation, explaining how he was sick to fans on social media. His post 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.”

Johnson challenged for the light-heavyweight belt in the UFC on two occasions, both times losing to all-time great Daniel Cormier.

They first met in 2015 at UFC 187 after Jon Jones was forced out, before a rematch at UFC 210 in April 2017 with Cormier winning both by submission. At his prime he beat world champions such as Glover Texeira and Ryan Bader, as well as defeating the likes of Jimi Manuwa and Alexander Gustafsson. His most recent outing was a light-heavyweight Grand Prix bout with Jose Augusto Azevedo which he won by knockout in the second round back in May of 2021. Tributes flooded in from the UFC world on social media following the news.

Cormier paid his respects on social media, writing: “Rest Easy my brother. For a guy who struck fear in so many peoples 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 #RIP #Rumblesquad @Anthony_Rumble”

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