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Former UFC and Bellator Fighter Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson Dies at 38

Photo: Ethan Miller

Former MMA fighter Anthony 'RumbleJohnson, who had previously challenged for the UFC Light Heavyweight championship twice, has died at the age of 38, Bellator MMA announced on its verified social media accounts Sunday (November 13).

A Bellator spokesman confirmed that Johnson, who signed with the promotion as part of a multi-year deal in December 2020, had been ill for more than a year, the Associated Press reports.

"It is with great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson," Bellator MMA shared. "The BELLATOR family is devastated by his untimely passing and we send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Johnson last appeared in an MMA fight for Bellator in May 2021 and owned a career record of 23-6, which included 17 knockouts and six decisions.

In September, Johnson shared a statement on his verified Instagram account asking his followers for prayers amid an ongoing illness.

"Really wish I could go into detail about how ill I truly am," Johnson wrote. "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 specified that the illness was "NOT COVID" in his post.

On May 17, the former light heavyweight fighter said he received good news from his doctor and was making "big improvements."

In October, Johnson's manager told ESPN that the fighter was "going through some health problems right now...he's not doing well.

Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier, who defeated Johnson in two title fights, shared a post on his verified Twitter account addressing Johnson's death.

"Rest Easy my brother," Cormier wrote. "For a guy who struck fear in so many people's 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"