MMA fans have been remembering Anthony Rumble Johnson. Rumble touched many lives and inspired many active mixed martial artists to pursue their careers.
Johnson passed away tragically at 38 after a battle with Non-hodgkins lymphoma.
Many fans are thinking back to the time when then UFC light-heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones pranked Dana White during a staredown.
Back at UFC 287 in 2015, Johnson was supposed to face Jon Jones for the light heavyweight belt. During the media event, the pair planned to scare Dana White during a staredown session. When the two approached each other face-to-face, they acted like they’re about to brawl on stage.
Jones signaled the move by lightly headbutting Johnson, and Johnson responded by reaching Jones’ neck. This immediately made Dana White go into a panic. He also screamed while trying to separate them. All three of them then laughed together after White realized it was just a prank.
“If Dave [Sholler] was up there, it would have been perfect. He dam near s*** himself. His voice was so high, it was crazy but the expression on his face was priceless.” Johnson said.
However, Jones was stripped of his title not long after the prank following a hit-and-run incident. Daniel Cormier stepped in to face Johnson for the vacant lightweight belt.
Anthony Johnson retired from MMA in 2017 after losing to Cormier for the second time. He made a comeback in 2020 within Bellator MMA and competed Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix. However, he couldn’t continue competing in the tournament due to illness.
Soon after troubling reports about his health started surfacing.
Many professional athletes, MMA figures, and fans have been sending condolences through their social media. Despite never winning a belt, Johnson always put on an exciting performance in the octagon with his immense knockout power.
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.