Dominance MMA Management CEO Ali Abdelaziz has asked the MMA community to “pray” for Anthony Johnson during his ongoing health problems.
Last May, former UFC title challenger Johnson made his long-awaited return to mixed martial arts following a four-year absence. Debuting for Bellator MMA, “Rumble” knocked out José Augusto Azevedo Barros in one round to advance to the semifinals of the promotion’s light heavyweight Grand Prix.
But while he was booked to meet Vadim Nemkov in October, Johnson withdrew a month before the event through an unspecified illness, the seriousness of which became clear when the fan favorite took to Instagram following the news.
“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,” Johnson wrote. “Never been this afraid of anything in my life but I’ve remained strong with the support of friends and family.”
An update earlier this year appeared positive, with Johnson returning to physical training and promising the most dangerous version of himself to date when he returns to the cage.
But despite hoping to secure the “green light” for a comeback this calendar year, Johnson’s manager has now given a troublesome update on his client’s condition.
Abdelaziz Provides Worrying Update On Anthony Johnson’s Health
During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Ali Abdelaziz was asked if there’s any update on Johnson a year after the initial diagnosis and months on from talk of a return.
Sadly, the Egyptian MMA manager didn’t have good news to bring Johnson’s fans. Instead, Abdelaziz asked the entire community to keep Johnson ‘in their prayers’ having evidently experienced a major setback in his recovery from illness.
“Rumble, he’s going through some health problems right now. It’s very sad,” Abdelaziz said. “I think, I want everybody to pray for him. Pray for Anthony. It’s not going well. He’s very strong, spiritually. But pray for him.”
Abdelaziz also made note of the incredible support that Bellator and promotional chief Scott Coker have provided. At the start of 2022, Coker noted that the organization will be ready to welcome him back with open arms following his recovery, which he insisted is the only matter of importance right now.
“I want to give a shoutout to Bellator, Scott Coker… They’ve been supporting him. You could not imagine how much support they’re giving them,” Abdelaziz added. “Anthony, be strong. A lot of people love you. He’s going to be okay, but he’s not doing well.”
While Johnson’s memorable return to MMA action suggested a major career resurgence was on the cards, the veteran has had to put his combat sports ambitions on hold as he battles what is no doubt a serious condition.
Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.