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Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson dies at 38: Bellator MMA light heavyweight, ex-UFC star battled illness

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Bellator MMA light heavyweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has died at the age of 38. Bellator confirmed reports of his death Sunday afternoon with President Scott Cocker. previously stating that Johnson was battling an unknown illness.

Johnson has fought two fights in the UFC, becoming one of the sport’s highest-scoring knockout masters with a one-punch punch that has become infamous in the mixed martial arts community. Fighting at welterweight on his first tour with the company, he struggled with weight misses, eventually moving up to light heavyweight and even heavyweight while competing in the World Series of Fighting.

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Returning to the UFC in 2014, Johnson scored three wins and earned a fight against then-champion Daniel Cormier in May 2015. He lost that fight via rear naked choke. After three more wins, Johnson challenged Cormier again in April 2017, but lost for the second time by submission.

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The Rumble announced his retirement from MMA in 2017, becoming the top light heavyweight in the UFC. However, four years later, he eventually returned to the Bellator cage by knocking out José Augusto in May 2021 during the first round of the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix. Illness then forced him to withdraw from a title fight with Vadim Nemkov in the semi-finals.

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Johnson’s career record was 23-6 with 17 knockout wins. Out of the cage, he was convicted of domestic battery in 2008 and charged with domestic violence in 2014, though no charges were filed in the latter case.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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