Cape Town — South Africa-based UFC athlete and Zimbabwe’s Themba Gorimbo recently received a shout-out from Hollywood superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Twitter.
Just last month, Gorimbo secured his first UFC win when he beat Japan’s Takashi Sato via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Hill (UFC Vegas 73) in Las Vegas on May 20.
In his post-fight press conference, the Bikita, Masvingo-born Welterweight star, spoke about all the challenges he had faced in the lead-up to the fight.
Not only did he wake up with flu-like symptoms on the morning of his fight, but he headed into his second UFC bout flat-broke.
“I’ve been broke,” Gorimbo said at his UFC Vegas 73 post-fight media scrum.
“I came to the US seven weeks ago without money. I only had enough money to fly, got to the airport, moved to the gym where I stayed, and then a friend sent me $200 (about R3 712).
“It’s been a roller-coaster. I didn’t have money, if you look at my bank account, there’s $7 right now. I have to enjoy this. I don’t know how much I am getting paid. All I’ve focused on for this fight was to get the win. The win was the most important thing, the money is the by-product of getting the win,” said Gorimbo on the night.
Johnson then saw a graphic shared by global sports media brand ESPN recapping Gorimbo’s story relating to his financial woes and retweeted it, expressing how much it reminded him of his own journey when he was on the come-up, before offering to support the former EFC Welterweight world champion.
“This is f’n crazy to see and brings back many emotions and memories,” Johnson wrote.
“$7.49 in this fighter’s bank account. I once had $7 bucks too. I’ve been there on that grind. Got your back, brother. I’ll help. You got this,” said the WWE legend and A-list movie star.
The seven dollars pulled on Johnson’s heartstrings considering that it was the inspiration behind his production company Seven Bucks Productions started in 2012.
Johnson ended his tweet with a promising “I’ll be in touch” to which Gorimbo responded, “You are the man, Dwayne”.
Gorimbo’s story is a truly inspirational one, the man has been auctioning off his fight gear for years now with plans to uplift the area in which he was born.
Bikita, Masvingo, is a rural area in Zimbabwe that lacks the basics, including running water and electricity.
Gorimbo recently secured enough funds to build a water pump and supply water to the area and is already working on a few new projects, which include assisting schools in the area.
The man has also spoken of lighting up Zimbabwe in a special way in the near future.
“What I would like to try to do one day is … look, I am a vessel, it’s about how I feel, but eventually, when I fight for the UFC Welterweight title, I want to put electricity in my village.
“When I, Themba Gorimbo, win that UFC Welterweight World Championship, I will auction off my belt, get money and supply electricity to my entire village. That is my vision. That is where I am going to,” added Gorimbo, who confirmed to MzansiMMA and Independent Media that he will be shifting base to train more permanently in the US.