Ancient mma fighter Anthony ‘To scold‘ Johnsonwho had already challenged for the cfu The two-time light heavyweight championship has passed away at the age of 38, Bellator MMA announced on its verified social media accounts on Sunday (November 13).
A Bellator spokesperson confirmed that Johnson, who signed with the promotion on a multi-year deal in December 2020, had been ill for over a year, The Associated Press reports.
“It is with great sadness that 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 had 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 to pray amid an ongoing illness.
“I really wish I could explain in detail how sick I really am,” Johnson wrote. “Just know that I need as many prayers as possible and I’ll see you in 2022 God willing… I’ve never been so scared of anything in my life, but I stayed strong with the support of my friends and family.”
Johnson clarified that the disease was “NOT COVID” in his message.
On May 17, the former light heavyweight fighter said he received good news from his doctor and was making “great improvements.”
In October, Johnson’s manager said ESPN that the fighter “had some health issues at the moment…he’s not doing well.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormierwho beat Johnson in two title fights, shared a message on his verified Twitter account regarding Johnson’s death.
“Rest easy bro,” Cormier wrote. “For a guy who struck fear into the hearts of so many, Anthony Johnson was a caring person. From random text to checks on loss. What a person he was, Rumble will be missed. Sometimes life just doesn’t seem just horrible news #TO TEAR APART #Rumblesquad @Anthony_Rumble“