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RT Sports - Former UFC title challenger Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson dead at 38


 

 

 

His highly touted power saw him defeat the likes of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alexander Gustafsson, Ryan Bader, and former light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira, whom he knocked unconscious just 13 seconds into the first round

 

Home News - (RT Sports)

Tuesday November 15, 2022

Former two-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson has passed away at the age of 38.

Johnson was regarded as one of the most fearsome punchers in the history of mixed martial arts, a fact which was reflected in the 17 knockout wins in his 26 career victories.

His highly touted power saw him defeat the likes of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alexander Gustafsson, Ryan Bader, and former light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira, whom he knocked unconscious just 13 seconds into the first round of their fight in August 2016.

'Rumble', as he was appropriately nicknamed, was rewarded with two opportunities at the UFC's light heavyweight title but would lose on both occasions to Daniel Cormier, and both by rear-naked choke submission.

Johnson would take an extended break from the sport following the second defeat to Cormier in 2017 but returned in 2021 under the Bellator MMA banner, where he earned a second-round knockout against Jose Augusto Azevedo.

He was subsequently invited to compete in the organization's light heavyweight grand prix but withdrew from the tournament, citing health issues as the reason.

Johnson didn't go public with the extent of his ailments but various statements on social media implied that he was battling some serious medical problems. News of his eventual passing was confirmed late on Sunday.

It was reported by Yahoo Sports that Johnson died as a result of organ failure associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as due to an immune system disorder called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

"He was always a great kid," UFC president Dana White told Yahoo. "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." Several other figures, many of whom were former opponents of Johnson's, also reflected on his death.

"Rest easy my brother," wrote Daniel Cormier on Twitter.

"For a guy who struck fear in so many people's hearts, 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." Glover Teixeira, the man who was beaten by Johnson in 13 seconds, added: "I am so sad to hear about this news. One of the most scary [and] tough opponents that I had ever faced and one of the nicest and most humble humans I have ever met. My heart is broken. My condolences to his family."

Derek Brunson, a former training partner of Johnson's, added his voice to the chorus of appreciation for the impact 'Rumble' had on the sport and its participants.

"Always worked to be a better man," he wrote. "Life can be short. Never forget to enjoy and appreciate! RIP."

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