Anthony Johnson will not be competing in the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix semifinal against champion Vadim Nemkov due to illness.
MMA Junkie was the first to reveal Johnson’s removal from the grand prix tournament on Saturday. The illness is not COVID-related, and there is no timetable for Johnson’s return to action at this time. Nemkov will remain on the October 16 card against an opponent to be determined.
Following the news of Johnson’s removal, he issued the following statement on Instagram:
“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…
“Never been this afraid of anything in my life, but I’ve remained strong with the support of friends and family.
“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
#RumbleSquad NOT COVID”
Anthony Johnson earned his spot in the LHW grand prix semifinal by defeating José Augusto via second-round KO in the quarterfinal round at Bellator 258. Nemkov advanced to this round with a unanimous-decision victory over Phil Davis at Bellator 257.
With Anthony Johnson no longer on the card, the updated lineup for Bellator 268 is as follows:
Vadim Nemkov vs. TBA
LHW Grand Prix Semifinal: Ryan Bader vs. Corey Anderson – light heavyweight grand prix semifinal
Benson Henderson vs. Brent Primus
Henry Corrales vs. Vladyslav Parubchenko
Karl Albrektsson vs. Julius Anglickas
Brett Johns vs. Erik Perez
Deon Clash vs. Sullivan Cauley
Bobby Lee vs. Nick Browne
Gregory Milliard vs. Javier Torres
Randi Field vs. Sumiko Inaba
Lance Gibson Jr. vs. Raymond Pina