Zimbabwean UFC fighter Themba Gorimbo breaks down in tears after meeting his idol, The Rock

Zimbabwean UFC fighter Themba Gorimbo breaks down in tears after meeting his idol, The Rock

Miami, USA – UFC welterweight fighter Themba Gorimbo was left stunned and in tears following an unexpected encounter with Hollywood star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

Gorimbo’s inspiring journey from facing adversity in the diamond mines of Zimbabwe as a teenager to living on the streets in Johannesburg, and eventually stepping into the UFC octagon, captured hearts worldwide.

In May, ‘The Answer’ achieved his first UFC victory, triumphing over Takashi Sato. However, it was Gorimbo’s post-fight speech that garnered attention, revealing his financial struggles, with only US$7 in his bank account before the bout.

Gorimbo said in his post-fight media statement: “I’ve been broke. I came to America seven weeks ago without money. I only had enough money to fly, get to the airport to the gym, stayed at the gym, and then a friend sent me US$200. It’s been a roller coaster. I didn’t have money; if you look at my bank account, there’s US$7 right now.

“In my bank account, there’s US$7, and I have to enjoy this. “I don’t know how much I’m getting paid. All I’ve been 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.”

His inspiring story caught the eyes of numerous MMA stars who reached out in support. Among them was The Rock, whose production company is aptly named Seven Bucks, derived from his own humble beginnings with only US$7 to his name.

The heart-warming moment unfolded when The Rock posted a video on Twitter, showing him sneaking up behind Gorimbo as he was interviewed in a Miami gym.

Gorimbo, sitting on a stool, noticed The Rock’s presence to his left and stared in disbelief. Overcome with emotion, he exclaimed, “Oh my god!” before jumping up to embrace Johnson. The gym erupted with applause as they witnessed the heartfelt encounter.

The Rock chuckled as he hugged Gorimbo, the young fighter burying his head in The Rock’s shoulder, a grin stretching from ear to ear. “It’s good to see you,” The Rock warmly greeted, to which Gorimbo replied with gratitude, “Thank you.” Emotion welled up in Gorimbo as the video concluded with The Rock stating, “It’s good to finally meet you.”

In his heartfelt tweet, The Rock shared his admiration for Gorimbo’s story and the recent UFC win. He revealed that the Zimbabwean’s determination had moved and motivated him. Despite his financial struggles, Gorimbo displayed resilience and resourcefulness.

After the fight, instead of using the US$7,000 he earned from selling his fight gear online, he selflessly invested it to drill a community borehole in his rural Bikita, providing clean water to the rural folk.

The Rock’s genuine admiration for Gorimbo’s journey led him to fly to Miami to meet the young fighter in person, offer a helping hand, and express his appreciation. Themba Gorimbo, fondly known as ‘The Answer,’ is expected to continue his UFC journey later this year, and with The Rock’s support and inspiration, his path is set to be even more remarkable.

Sadly, the Zimbabwean Mixed Martial Arts star, a former Zimbabwe Sports Person of The Year, fought under the South African flag in his recent maiden victory over Japan’s Takashi Sato in the UFC in Las Vegas.

He revealed in the post-match interview that he could not wear Zimbabwean badges after he was frustrated by the Sports ministry in his efforts to get permission to use Zimbabwean garb.

The Sports and Recreation Commission said he could not be cleared to wear Zimbabwe colors as he had not renewed his registration with the local federation.

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