Former UFC title challenger Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson dies aged 38

UFC via Getty Images

Former UFC light-heavyweight title contender Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson has died at the age of 38.

The American, who ended his UFC career with a record of 22 wins and six defeats, had been suffering from an undisclosed illness.

Johnson came out of retirement to join Bellator last year, but he was forced to pull out of a light-heavyweight title bout in September 2021 on health grounds.

Speaking to ESPN in October, manager Ali Abdelaziz said Johnson "was not doing well" and asked the MMA world to pray for him.

Bellator's official Twitter account confirmed on Sunday that Johnson had passed away.

"It is with great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson," the tweet read.

"The Bellator family is devastated by his untimely passing and we send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Johnson also competed as a welterweight and middleweight in UFC, with 17 of his 23 overall career wins coming by knockout.