MMA world mourns over the passing of former UFC two-time light heavyweight title challenger Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson at just 38 years old.
Johnson enjoyed a stellar run in the UFC after making a successful debut in Jun. 2007. He gained a reputation for being a deadly striker in the welterweight division along with possessing unreal knockout power.
Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson passes away at just 38 years old
Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson stepped away from the UFC for a brief hiatus before returning as a light heavyweight for his second stint during 2014-17. Johnson decided to go up to 205 pounds in his comeback and earned victories over former champions and notable opponents, such as Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, Alexander Gustafsson, and Phil Davis.
Johnson had been suffering from health complications for a long time. He was scheduled to get back inside the cage in Sep. 2021 but was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed illness. Last month, his manager Ali Abdelaziz issued a concerning statement asking fans to pray for Johnson.
It was confirmed this evening that Johnson passed away at 38 years old.
MMA world pays tribute to the death of a legend
Following the news of Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson’s passing, tributes came pouring in from the MMA community.
Renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani weighed in, writing, “Horrible news: 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.”
Former two-division champion Daniel Cormier weighed in: “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.”
Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping wrote: “Utterly shocked and saddened by this. RIP. Sincere condolences to all his family and loved ones.”
Bellator MMA issued a statement on the passing of Johnson: “It is with great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson. The BELLATOR family is devastated by his untimely passing and we send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Johnson’s manager Ali Abdelaziz weighed in: “I’m heartbroken right now.”
Former MMA world champion Josh Thompson wrote, “Life is never fair … gone way to soon. I’m going to miss you brother.”
UFC lightweight Terrance McKinney wrote, “Rumble Johnson passed away. The MMA community lost a legend and I will continue to pray for his family.”