UFC Fight Night: Johnson v Bader
UFC Fight Night: Johnson v Bader NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 30: Anthony Johnson of the United States celebrates his win by TKO against Ryan Bader of the United States in the first round of their light heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Prudential Center on January 30, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Mixed Martial Arts world is in mourning after news of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson's death this weekend.

Johnson, 38, was an American MMA light heavyweight fighter who went 23-6 in his career and had been fighting an illness for quite some time. Considered by many as one of the hardest hitters and most talented fighters in MMA history, Johnson’s cause of death was organ failure due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH).

The MMA fighter spent most of his career fighting for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he was a multiple title challenger. Johnson finished his career under Bellator MMA with a single light heavyweight bout. "Rumble" won by scoring a fierce knockout against José Augusto Azevedo Barros in the second round, May 2021, which can only be described as a summary of his career.

Bellator MMA announced Johnson’s death on social media on Sunday. A Bellator spokesman said Johnson had been ill for more than a year.

In September 2021, Johnson posted on Instagram that he needed “as many prayers as I can get” and was in a battle, noting it was “NOT COVID.” On May 17, Johnson posted that he had gotten good news from his doctor, saying there were “big improvements.”

In October, Johnson’s manager Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN in an interview, “Rumble, he’s going through some health problems right now. It’s very sad." He added, “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.”

Johnson was known for his devastating one-punch knockout power. His impressive UFC record of 13 wins and six losses led to a couple title shots against then undefeated Daniel Cormier.

Johnson retired from MMA for the first time, after losing at UFC 210 to light heavyweight champion Cormier in a title fight rematch. Johnson left his mark on the UFC by recording five sub-minute knockout victories during his time with the promotion.

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