'Rumble' out of Bellator grand prix, Nemkov gets new opponent
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson has withdrawn from the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix due to an illness, the promotion announced Saturday.
Johnson was scheduled to headline Bellator 268 against champion Vadim Nemkov in the tournament semifinals.
"Really wish I could go into detail about how ill I truly am," Johnson wrote in an Instagram post. "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."
Alternate Julius Anglickas, who is set to face Nemkov on Oct. 16 in Phoenix, will fill in for Johnson.
Anglickas is 10-1 as a professional, including three straight wins under the Bellator banner.
Johnson returned to MMA at Bellator 258 in May after four years away from the cage. He knocked out Jose Augusto in the grand prix quarterfinals, which marked the former UFC star's debut in Bellator.
Nemkov, 29, defeated Phil Davis in his quarterfinals match to retain the belt.
Former UFC contenders Ryan Bader and Corey Anderson will throw down in the other semifinal bout.
- Anderson stops Bader in 51 seconds, advances to Bellator grand prix final
- Nemkov dominates Anglickas, retains Bellator title by submission
- Dumont upsets Ladd in lackluster UFC main event
- Corey Anderson doesn't miss UFC's 'politics,' says Bellator treats him better
- Ngannou: UFC used interim title fight to 'control the narrative'