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Anthony Johnson reveals life-threatening reason for pulling out of Bellator title fight

Anthony Johnson, Vadim Nemkov

Anthony Johnson has been forced to pull out of his scheduled October 16 Bellator title fight against Vadim Nemkov. The fight has left fans everywhere disappointed as the title fight was expected to be a very exciting matchup.

Anthony Johnson revealed on social media that he was forced to pull out due to a ‘very serious’ illness. It has not been revealed what the illness is but it appears it’s not COVID-19.


“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 will not compete again in 2021 but it does appear that he is targeting a return in 2022. ESPN received a statement from his manager Ali Abdelaziz that reads:

“We’re just going to take all the necessary steps to make sure Anthony is healthy,” Abdelaziz said. “Health is our main focus. And there is no doubt in my mind you will see him in the Bellator cage in the future. I want to thank [matchmaker] Mike Kogan and [president] Scott Coker for everything.”

Anthony Johnson returned to the cage in 2021 after retiring back in 2017 following a loss to Daniel Cormier. His return to the cage was a very exciting one as he had a fun back-and-forth fight against José Augusto that eventually saw him get the knockout victory in the second round.

With Anthony Johnson forced to pull out, Vadim Nemkov will now defend his light heavyweight title against Julius Anglickas on October 16.