The MMA world is still in disbelief over Anthony “Rumble” Johnson who tragically lost his life at the age of 38.
Johnson had been battling an illness for some time, but no details were released until Monday. According to reports, the legendary UFC fighter was battling cancer and died from organ failure due to a bout with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.
It was declared that Johnson with was coerced to withdraw from the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix in September 2021 because of an undisclosed illness. Nobody had a clue how bad this was or the end result less than a year later.
With a record of 23-6, Anthony concluded his MMA career. He had 17 knockout wins. After a title loss in 2017 against Daniel Cormier at UFC, Anthony walked away from the sport for four years.
UFC President Dana White spoke about Johnson’s death and said, “He was always a great kid. He was always in fun fights and he had that one-punch KO power that not many people ever had. He was a good human being. I send my condolences to his family.”
Anthony’s close friend Kamaru Usman also talked to Yahoo Sports and stated, “It was a little like Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick kept his issue private and we were all so shocked and surprised. Rumble would give you these nonchalant stories, and he was having dialysis on his kidneys but he never really told you fully what was going on.”
“He didn’t want to be treated differently. He didn’t want people seeing him losing all this weight and going through these situations and treat him differently because of what was going on. He was such an incredible athlete”, he added.
We send prayers to his friends and family during this difficult time.