Ex-UFC star Anthony Johnson’s death details revealed: report

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Former UFC star Anthony Johnson reportedly died of organ failure following a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. He was 38.

Johnson’s death was announced on Sunday in a statement from Bellator MMA, the latest promotion in which former light heavyweight title contender competed. Yahoo Sports reported the cause of death.

The young mixed martial artist had been ill for more than a year, a Bellator spokesperson told the Associated Press. But he was not known for speaking out about what tormented him.

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Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson (L) of USA fights Alexander ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson of Sweden in their UFC light heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm on January 24, 2015.
(REUTERS/Jessica Gow/TT News Agency)

Kamaru Usman told Yahoo Sports that he spoke to Johnson a few months ago but had no details about what was going on with him.

“You know, it was a bit like Chadwick Boseman,” Usman said. “Chadwick kept his case private and we were all so shocked and surprised [when he died in 2020]. Rumble told you these casual stories, and he was on dialysis for his kidneys, but he never quite told you what was going on. He didn’t want to be treated differently. He didn’t want people to see him lose all this weight and go through these situations and treat him differently because of what was going on. He was such an incredible athlete.

“He had the feet of a welterweight and the strength of a heavyweight, and he could convey that throughout his career. He was really special and gifted, and he didn’t really have to work hard. He felt like he was working hard work.” , but there were levels he didn’t go to, maybe didn’t want to go. Of course he was. I admired that so much. He made it look easy. He had hit a man and the man would just crumble. I mean I worked so hard and put this time in, and I’d end up hitting this guy with everything, and he’d be standing there. Rumble was of a different caliber than the rest of us. ‘

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Johnson posted a disturbing message in September 2021 that he needed “as many prayers as I can get” and was in a battle unrelated to COVID-19. Johnson then posted in May that he had received information from a doctor that he had made “major improvements.”

Anthony Johnson enters the arena ahead of the Ligh Heavyweight Title Bout against Daniel Cormier at KeyBank Center on April 8, 2017 in Buffalo, New York.

Anthony Johnson enters the arena ahead of the Ligh Heavyweight Title Bout against Daniel Cormier at KeyBank Center on April 8, 2017 in Buffalo, New York.
(Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In October, Johnson’s manager told ESPN that “Rumble” “had health issues at the moment. … He’s not doing well.”

Daniel Cormier, with whom Johnson had a great rivalry, was among those who paid tribute to ‘Rumble’.

“Rest in peace my brother. For a man who instilled fear in so many people, Anthony Johnson was a caring person,” Cormier tweeted. “From random texts to check-ins during loss. What a person he was, Rumble will be missed. Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. Terrible news.”

Johnson had 11 knockouts during his decade in UFC. He fought from 2007 to 2017, losing to Cormier twice in light heavyweight title fights. He competed in three weight divisions during his time with UFC and became one of the most powerful punchers the company had ever seen.

Anthony Johnson announces his retirement following his defeat to Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship at the UFC 210 event at KeyBank Center on April 8, 2017 in Buffalo, New York.

Anthony Johnson announces his retirement following his defeat to Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship at the UFC 210 event at KeyBank Center on April 8, 2017 in Buffalo, New York.
(Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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He retired from UFC in 2017 and competed on Bellator in 2021 before his health issues worsened.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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