Former UFC Title Challenger Anthony Johnson Dies at 38

Two-time UFC title challenger Anthony "Rumble" Johnson passed away Sunday at the age of 38 from organ failure reportedly due to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a rare immune system disorder. He had been sick since at least last year when a then undisclosed illness forced him to withdraw from the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix.


A former junior college national wrestling champion, Johnson turned professional as a mixed martial artist in 2006. He entered the UFC the following year fighting as an oversized welterweight with tremendous knockout power. But consistent problems making weight eventually lead to his release from the company.

Johnson worked his way back to the UFC in 2014 though, fighting as a light heavyweight in his second stint with the promotion. He twice challenged for the light heavyweight title losing to Daniel Cormier both times. Among the fighters he beat were former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and future light heavyweight titlist Glover Teixeira. For his career he posted a 23-6 record.

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