Anthony Kewoa Johnson will always be remembered as a fearsome competitor and an inspiration to aspiring athletes.
The MMA community and fans around the world mourned the loss of a talented and accomplished fighter who left behind a lasting legacy in the sport.
Who Was Anthony Johnson?
Anthony Kewoa Johnson was an American mixed martial artist known for his explosive knockouts and incredible versatility in multiple weight divisions.
Johnson was born on March 6, 1984, in Dublin, Georgia, and was raised by his grandparents, who formally adopted him when he was two years old. Johnson looked up to his granddad and considered football legend Walter Payton to be his hero as a child. He attended West Laurens High School before going on to wrestle at Lassen College in Susanville, California.
During his time at Lassen College, Johnson excelled in wrestling and became a junior college national wrestling champion. He worked as a bouncer after college, but it was his wrestling experience that drew him into mixed martial arts at the age of 20.
Johnson chose to attempt his wrestling skills in the MMA arena after a friend suggested it.
Johnson debuted in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) at UFC Fight Night 10, when he knocked out Chad Reiner in the first round in thirteen seconds.
This outstanding performance established Johnson’s name and demonstrated his one-punch knockout power, earning him the moniker “Rumble.” Due to his thrilling fighting style and ability to end fights in spectacular fashion, he immediately became a fan favourite.
Johnson fought in a variety of weight classes throughout his career, including welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and even heavyweight.
He was noted for being the number one ranked light heavyweight contender in the official UFC rankings, and he often competed for titles in the UFC. Johnson was also well-liked in the MMA community, as he was ranked second in the world by Sherdog and ESPN before retiring in April 2017.
Johnson couldn’t stay away from MMA for long, despite his retirement. He made a comeback in May 2021 and won his final fight by knockout, proving that he still had what it required to compete at the highest level.
Aside from his achievements in the ring, Johnson had a brief acting role as a combatant in the 2011 film Warrior, which depicts a huge international mixed martial arts tournament called Sparta.
Johnson was an entrepreneur in addition to his sporting achievements. He founded Competitive Body Development, a CBD oil company, and was named the head of fighter relations for the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship in early 2019.
Anthony Johnson’s Cause Of Death
Johnson’s life was tragically cut short on November 13, 2022. He had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, an auto-immune illness.