American lightweight MMA fighter Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson has died aged 38 from an undisclosed illness, according to Bellator MMA.
“It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, Bellator MMA announced on social media on Sunday.
“The BELLATOR family is devastated by his untimely passing and we send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Johnson joined the UFC in 2007 and was ranked number one light heavyweight in 2014 before retiring in 2017.
After four years away from mixed martial arts, Johnson retired and joined Bellator MMA in 2021.
In his last fight, Johnson defeated Jose Augusto by knockout to improve to 23-6 in his career.
Two-time Olympian and MMA fighter Daniel Cormier paid tribute to Johnson.
“For a guy who struck fear into the hearts of so many, Anthony Johnson was a caring person. From random text to lost records. What a person he was, Rumble will be missed. Sometimes life just doesn’t seem just. Horrible news,” Cormier added.