Anthony Johnson, 38 years old, died…The cause of death is a type of blood cancer
Top fighter Anthony Johnson (38, USA), who challenged for the UFC light heavyweight title, suddenly passed away.
Bellator, a U.S. mixed martial arts group that Johnson has been active until recently, officially announced on the 13th that “Johnson died after a long battle.”
According to Bellator’s disclosure, Johnson has been ill for more than a year. At the time of the announcement, the specific cause of death was not known. However, “Johnson died of organ failure due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a type of blood cancer) and hemophobic lymphocytosis (immune system disease),” Yahoo Sports said.
Johnson, who was famous for his nickname “Rumble” when he was a player, played for UFC from 2014 to 2017, making his name as a top player. At first, he started as a welterweight, but later raised his weight to light heavyweight.
In particular, he won the title challenge in 2017 by beating the top players of his time, including Glover Tesseira, Ryan Bader, Alexander Gustafson, and Phil Davis in the light heavyweight. He challenged then-champion Daniel Cormier, but lost unfortunately.
Johnson, who had been absent for more than four years since leaving UFC after the title match, made his return match through Bellator, the second-largest organization in the U.S., in May last year. In the match against Jose Agusto Acevedo, he won the second round KO and showed off his robustness.
Johnson was due to fight Bellator light heavyweight champion Badib Nemkov in October last year. However, he gave up the game due to illness and did not appear in the martial arts ring afterwards.
At the time, Johnson posted on his SNS, “We need as many prayers as possible,” hinting that his condition was serious. However, in May this year, he said on SNS, “I heard good news from a doctor that he has improved greatly.”
The U.S. martial arts community appears to be deeply saddened by Johnson’s sudden death. “We are deeply shocked by Johnson’s sudden death,” Bellator said. “We extend our condolences to his family and friends.”
“Johnson was a good person who put fear in the hearts of many players, but at the same time, he was a good person who cared about people,” said Cormier, who played the UFC title match with Johnson. “Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair.”