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Former UFC light-heavyweight title contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson has passed away after battling an undisclosed illness. He was 38.
News of Johnson’s death broke online Sunday afternoon, although it is not clear when he died.
“Horrible news: Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson passed away today. He was 38 years old,” journalist Ariel Helwani tweeted. “Johnson had been battling an illness for quite some time. One of the hardest hitters and most talented fighters in MMA history. Gone way too soon. May he rest in peace. May he rest in peace.”
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson passed away today. He was 38 years old.
Johnson had been battling an illness for quite some time.
One of the hardest hitters and most talented fighters in MMA history. Gone way too soon.
May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/t5mVvRaNih
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 13, 2022
Johnson was supposed to fight for the Bellator light-heavyweight title last September but had to cancel because he was battling an illness.
Johnson discussed his illness in a post on social media last year, saying that it was serious and appreciated all the support people gave.
“Really wish I could go into detail about how ill I truly am,” he said. “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’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN last month that Johnson was not doing well and asked that people continue to pray for him.
“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.”
Tributes quickly rolled in from the sports world in response to Johnson’s death.
“RIP Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson,” fighter Michael Chiesa tweeted. “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.”
“Rumble Johnson passed away,” fighter Terrance ‘T Wrecks’ McKinney tweeted. “The MMA community lost a legend and I will continue to pray for his family.”
“Rest Easy my brother. For a guy who struck fear in so many peoples heart Anthony Johnson was a caring person,” UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier tweeted. “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”
This is a developing news story refresh the page for updates.