The MMA World Mourns UFC Veteran “Rumble” Johnson – Cause of Death Revealed

✔ "Rumble" praised by former opponents and MMA elite ✔ Daniel Cormier: "Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair."

Former title contender and UFC veteran Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has died at the age of 38.

It was confirmed that the cause of his tragic death was organ failure due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). HLH is a rare immune system disorder that usually occurs in infants and young children but may also occur in adults. NHL is an umbrella term for cancer of the lymphatic system. The cause of death was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.

Johnson’s passing quickly created ripples in the MMA world. “Rumble” Johnson was a household name who spent most of his career in the UFC, competing in the welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. Johnson found the most success in the light heavyweight division where he fought for the title on two occasions, both times against Daniel Cormier.

“Rumble” Johnson lost both title bouts via submission and retired from the sport after his second loss to Cormier in April 2017. However, he made a comeback to the cage, this time in Bellator where he entered the organization’s light heavyweight tournament. Johnson made his Bellator debut in May 2021 when he defeated José Augusto Azevedo with a knockout.

“Rumble” Johnson pulled out of the tournament due to illness, and his Bellator match would ultimately be the last of a long and star-studded career.

“Without getting too much into his health, he needs to focus on being healthy first,” Bellator CEO Scott Coker said after Johnson pulled out of the tournament. “He must heal and recover first, because there is so much more to life than just fighting. I want him to have a long, healthy life and that’s the most important thing.”

That Johnson would end his career with a knockout was fitting, as he was well-known and feared for his power. Despite his devastating power, Johnson was a beloved fighter, known for his kindness and good humor.

Daniel Cormier posted a touching tribute on Twitter:

“Rest Easy my brother. For a guy who struck fear in so many peoples heart Anthony Johnson was a caring person. From random text to check ins during loss. What a person he was, Rumble will be missed. Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. Horrible news.”

Take a closer look at the reactions and tributes following Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s passing below.


The MMA World Mourns UFC Veteran Anthony “Rumble” Johnson

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