Zimbabwean mixed martial arts star Themba Gorimbo has been left in awe at the gesture by renowned American actor and former wrestler, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who paid him a visit at his gym in South Florida
ZIMBABWEAN mixed martial arts star Themba Gorimbo has been left in awe at the gesture by renowned American actor and former wrestler, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who paid him a visit at his gym in South Florida last Thursday.
Johnson also reportedly gifted the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight fighter with a fully furnished house in Miami, Florida.
It was a fulfilment of The Rock’s public promise to give financial aid and support to Gorimbo when he heard about the Zimbabwean’s struggles after his win over Takashi Sato back in May.
Gorimbo made his UFC debut in February at the UFC Fight Night with a loss to AJ Fletcher by a unanimous decision before returning to secure a first win in the Octagon against Sato.
What moved Johnson was the remarkable similarities of his own journey to that of Gorimbo.
“Firstly I thank God for everything he does for me in my life. I know it is His doing, everything that happens (good or bad )and I am very grateful to have finally met @therock today after he saw about my US$7 bucks situation,” Gorimbo said on social media.
“Words can’t describe the feeling and the motivation I now have after having this meeting. Big man with a big heart and he has changed my life completely today and I shall forever be grateful. I didn’t know how to thank him because words aren’t enough. He told me don’t thank me, but pass it on.
“I will pass it on and change someone else’s life on my journey to be @ufc champion. Thank you to my team @jasonkhouse @iridiumsportsagency @mmamasters @danielvalverde11 for helping me make this day come true.
“If Jason House (my manager) didn’t talk to me after that loss to Aj to come to the USA , who knows where I would be and if coach Velverde didn’t allow me to come and stay on the couch I wouldn’t have had this day. Bless you brother @therock and I will fulfil my promise I made to you today,” Gorimbo added.
Johnson also shared an emotional tweet following his meeting with the Zimbabwean combat sport athlete
“We’ve never met, but I had to fly to Miami to look this man, Themba Gorimbo in the eyes, hug him and shake his hand. I’ve been moved and motivated by his story. He recently won his first fight in the UFC. He had US$7 bucks in his bank account when he won. He sleeps on a couch in the gym,” he said.
“After the fight, he sold his fight gear (trunks and gloves) online and made US$7,000. Instead of using the money to find a place to live, he built a bush pump so his village back in Zimbabwe can have clean water. He never asked me for anything, but I just wanted to help the guy out. US$7 bucks ya know. And I felt the MANA and emotion in every hug. Very good and very special day,” he said.
In his UFC Vegas 73 post-fight speech back in May, Gorimbo openly shared his challenging journey, and revealed that he arrived in the US without any money.
Gorimbo admitted that his financial status had hit rock bottom revealing that his bank account had US$7 only a situation which deeply moved the Hollywood superstar.
Johnson is understood to have engaged his team to give Gorimbo the assistance he required before giving him a fully furnished house in the vibrant city of Miami.
The Rock reportedly offered Gorimbo mentorship and guidance with the aim of bolstering the mixed martial arts fighter’s skills and enhancing his chances of success in the UFC ring.
A former Zimbabwe Sportsperson of the Year winner, Gorimbo, made a name for himself in South Africa’s MMA community. He started his career in 2010 before turning professional in 2013.
Gorimbo has set his sights on becoming a champion in the lucrative UFC competition.
“I will become a champion in 2024. That’s my goal. And yeah, I just put it out there. I will become a champion in the UFC by the end of 2024. I know this,” he said after his triumph over Sato