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Anthony Johnson puts combat career on hold with serious illness - ‘Never been this afraid of anything in my life’

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UFC 210: Cormier v Johnson 2 Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Earlier today (Sat., Sept. 18, 2021) it was reported that Anthony Johnson was forced out of his Light Heavyweight title fight against division champion Vadim Nemkov, which was scheduled to go down as part of the Grand Prix tournament at Bellator 268 on Oct. 16.

While details relating to what actually forced “Rumble” out of the bout remain unclear, the situation appears to be very serious for the former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title contender. Johnson released a statement on social media asking for prayers from his fans as he goes through a health issue that has him very worried and “afraid.”

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

Johnson didn’t give further details about his current situation but did say he hopes to return to action sometime in 2022 if his health allows him to.

“Not asking for anything but prayers. See you in 2022 hopefully. This is gonna be a battle and I’m gonna have to dig deeper than I ever have before. Love you all.”

Johnson also went on to reveal that he is not battling COVID-19.

“Rumble” made an emphatic statement in his promotional debut at Bellator 258 this past May, knocking out Jose Augusto in the second round after suffering a scare early in the opening round. The bout was the hard-hitting big man’s first fight after taking a near four-year break from the fight game.

Bellator is currently seeking a replacement to fill in for “Rumble” in the semifinals of the tournament. As for Johnson, he will now shift all of his focus on his health before he decides to mount another comeback.

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