By Tionah Lee‍, ETOnline.com.

Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, former UFC champion, has died. He was 38. TMZ reported that Johnson died over the weekend – following an “undisclosed illness.”

UFC president, Dana White, confirmed the news on his Instagram. “RIP Anthony “Rumble” Johnson,” White wrote over a picture of the mixed martial artist on his Instagram Story.

The Bellator MMA promotion company also shared the news via Twitter.

“It is with great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson,” the tweet read over a graphic of Johnson. “The BELLATOR family is devastated by his untimely passing and we send our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Fighter Daniel Cormier, also took to Twitter to pay tribute to Johnson, whom he faced in the ring on numerous occasions.

“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 #RIP #Rumblesquad  @Anthony_Rumble,” he wrote.

Throughout his career in MMA, Johnson competed in the welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. During his time in the sport, he was known for his heavy punches — that often lead to knockouts.

During Johnson’s career, 17 out of his 23 wins were by knockout or TKO.

Johnson officially retired from the sport in 2017. In May 2021, he came out of retirement and defeated Jose Augusto by knockout, before retreating out of the spotlight.

Johnson also launched his own CBD line, Competitive Body Development — following his career in mixed martial arts. In September 2021, Johnson took to his Instagram to ask his followers for prayers.

“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,” he wrote. “Never been this afraid of anything in my life but I’ve remained strong with the support of my friends and family.”

Johnson noted in the post that he was not battling COVID-19. However, he said, “this is gonna be a battle and I’m gonna have to dig deeper than ever before.”

In May, Johnson celebrated getting good news from his doctor. Johnson’s final post was on October 21.

Johnson is survived by his two children.

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Ellen Bullock