MMA light heavyweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has died after battling an undisclosed illness. He was 38.
Bellator MMA announced his death Sunday (Nov. 13) on social media.
“It is with great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, the tweet stated. “The BELLATOR family is devastated by his untimely passing and we send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
🙏 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. pic.twitter.com/TqZzN1wquY
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) November 13, 2022
In January, Bellator president Scott Coker told MMA Junkie that Johnson, Bellator’s light heavyweight contender at the time, was still not medically cleared to compete in the cage.
“Without getting too much into his medical condition, he’s got to worry just about being healthy first. Fighting will always be there. I told him to keep doing what he’s doing, keep listening to the doctors and keep at it,” Coker stated, adding that it could take more than eight months for him to return.
Prior to that, Johnson withdrew from a Bellator MMA title fight against Vadim Nemkov in October 2021 due to an ailment, ESPN reported at the time.
“Really wish I could go into detail about how ill I truly am. Just know I need as many prayers as I can get, and I’ll see you in 2022 God willing,” Johnson stated in a Sept. 18, 2021 Instagram post.
Johnson, an MMA knockout artist, had a 23-6 record. He fought two stints in the UFC before making his Bellator debut in 2021. In the Bellator cage, he knocked out Jose Augusto in May 2021 during the first round of the Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix.