The story of rising mixed martial artist, Themba Gorimbo, is so inspiring that it even caught the attention of massive sports entertainment superstar, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. That led to an incredible meetup earlier this week between the two men.
Gorimbo, 32, revealed earlier this year that he was almost cast aside by family, friends, and coaches following his UFC debut loss back in February. The talented striker was submitted by fellow welterweight prospect, A.J. Fletcher, and was subsequently iced out by those around him after returning home from defeat.
This past May, Gorimbo made his return to action with a full camp and delivered an impressive unanimous decision win over UFC veteran Takashi Sato. The victory was super important for Gorimbo’s career, but it’s the fact that he had just $7 in his bank account entering that fight that has created such buzz around his name. The Zimbabwean fighter invested in himself and it paid off.
The $7 story has been making its way around the combat community and it eventually caught the eye of The Rock. That prompted the former WWE superstar and current Hollywood mega-actor to fly to the MMA Masters gym in Miami and meet Themba in person. The exchange was surreal and it left Gorimbo in tears.
Check it out in the above video player via Twitter. The Rock left the following message as well:
“We’ve never met but I had to fly to Miami to look this man @TheAnswerMMA in the eyes, hug him and shake his hand. I’ve been moved & motivated by his story.
He recently won his first fight in the @ufc. He had $7 bucks in his bank account when he won. He sleeps on a couch in the gym.
After the fight, he sold his fight gear (trunks & gloves) on line and made $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. $7 Bucks ya know. And I felt the MANA & emotion in every hug.
Very good and very special day.”
After their meeting, Gorimbo took to social media to express how grateful he was to meet The Rock and draw further inspiration for his promising UFC career. In multiple posts to Instagram, Gorimbo thanked The Rock and poured his heart out about his ongoing journey to the top. Check it out below:
“Firstly I thank God for everything he does for me in my life. I know it his doing in everything that happens (good or bad) and I am very grateful to have finally met @therock today after he saw about my $7 bucks situation. 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 life on my journey to be @ufc champion.
If Jason House (my manager) didn’t talk to me after that loss to Aj to come to 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.”
“Still surreal but real. I love this life and I am forever grateful of everything that comes with it. God bless us all on our journey. Let’s all Rise with love and passion.”
“Today was a movie. During interview with @therock team when they asked me who inspired me for my last fight, told them Adesanya when he KO Alex and I cried a bit after. The feeling was surreal when he made his post fight interview. I felt that and it was like he was talking to me. On that day I decided no matter what I will do what nobody thinks is possible because @stylebender did. Beating a guy that has beaten you 3 times is something special for those who may understand this. This right here is someone I truly admire. I respect people who are themselves regardless of the situation. Bless you bro and keep inspiring ❤️ What a day, what a life.”
“So grateful of you @jasonkhouse for putting this together. My man you are a blessing to me and many. You lied to me though that you were in Italy and they were only coming to interview me and take footage of me training. Turns out you guys kept the secrete from me and this was not a surprise but a shock to meet @therock.
Growing up I used to walk 10 km ok the weekends to go watch WWE at the growth point bar that we were not allowed to enter because we were under age (we would watch through the windows). Man those that know me and where I come from know exactly the feeling here. This is mind blowing to think of this and unheard of for a person who comes from where I come from.
I love this life and I am grateful of this life. Every time I watch these videos and pictures I cry and hopefully it all sinks in sooner or later but I am very emotional about all this and crying is the best relief for me.
I promised The Rock today I will be a champion in @ufc and best believe me. I will make sure that’s done. I know it will happen and it’s just a matter of time.”