Who was Anthony Johnson?
Johnson competed in three weight classes, earning a reputation as a fierce puncher and a fan favourite for his direct, striking-based style of MMA.
From 2007 through 2017, Johnson competed in the UFC, losing twice to Cormier for the light heavyweight belt.
Johnson left the UFC in 2017 after losing his second belt to Cormier, but he made a brief comeback in 2021 with Bellator before his health issues got worse. Johnson had six decisions and 17 knockouts during the course of his career.
His final match occurred in May 2021 against José Augusto Azevedo Barros which he won fiercely by knocking out the opponent in the second round.
Johnson was scheduled to face Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov in October 2021 as part of a grand prix tournament, but he had to pull out due to his deteriorating health conditions.
How was his health condition?
Reports claimed that the cause of death was organ failure brought on by non-lymphoma Hodgkin’s and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a rare illness of the immune system.
In 2021, Johnson shared on Instagram about how he was dealing with the illness he was suffering from saying, “Really wish I could go into detail about how ill I truly am. Just know I need as many prayers as I can get and I’ll see you in 2022 God willing… Never been afraid of anything in my life but I’ve remained strong with the support of friends and family.”
When Anothony posted a cryptic message on his Instagram regarding his recovery, fans were excited to see the man return to fighting. It seemed as though his health was on the incline in May of 2022.
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The sudden death of Anthony Johnson surprised both the MMA world and its participants. It’s safe to assume that his absence will be felt deeply by the sport.
Johnson was a soft-spoken man who was well-known among opponents for his strength, enormous size, and difficulties maintaining weight. He defeated numerous legendary fighters including Glover Teixeira, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader, the heavyweight champion of Bellator and more.
Several fighters including his former rivals, Daniel Cormier and Glover Teixeira used Twitter to thank Johnson for his accomplishments as soon as the news of his death surfaced.
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