Former UFC light-heavyweight title contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson has died at the age of 38.
The American, who joined Bellator last year, had said he was suffering from an undisclosed illness.
Bellator said: “It is with great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson.
“The Bellator family is devastated by his untimely passing and we send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Johnson came out of retirement to make his Bellator debut in 2021 after four years away from mixed martial arts.
He had ended his UFC career with a record of 22 wins and six defeats.
His punching power helped him become the first person in the promotion to record four sub-minute knockout victories.
Johnson challenged for the light heavyweight belt in the UFC on two occasions, both times losing to all-time great Daniel Cormier.
Cormier was among those to pay tribute, saying: “Rumble will be missed. Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair.”
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