Former two-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson passed away over the weekend.
The news broke Sunday that “Rumble” lost his battle with a sickness he had been dealing with for some time. Johnson had made reference to his health struggles over the past several months, but did not offer a concrete explanation for what exactly it was that he was diagnosed with. He did note, however, that it could be life threatening.
Now, we have some more information surrounding what it was exactly that Johnson was dealing with before ultimately passing at the age of 38.
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s Cause Of Death
Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Johnson was suffering from a form of cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, which is an auto-immune disease. After a long fight with the illnesses, Johnson ultimately passed away due to organ failure.
Both conditions consist of out-of-control overproduction of white blood cells. As for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), it’s a rare condition that causes cells to build up in the spleen and liver. They damage organs and interfere with other major functions that go on within the body.
It’s typically seen in infant and children but can be brought on my cancer. Speaking to Yahoo!, former UFC welterweight champion, and a close personal friend of Johnson’s, Kamaru Usman, “Rumble” didn’t make the details of his illness public as he didn’t want to be treated any differently.
“You know, it was a little like [Black Panther actor] Chadwick Boseman,” Usman said. “Chadwick kept his issue private and we were all so shocked and surprised [when he died in 2020]. Rumble would give you these nonchalant stories, and he was having dialysis on his kidneys, but he never really told you fully what was going on.
“He didn’t want to be treated differently. He didn’t want people seeing him losing all this weight and going through these situations and treat him differently because of what was going on.”