For Themba Gorimbo, winning his first UFC fight was an experience unlike any other. The Zimbabwean fighter, who had previously shared his challenging journey to becoming a professional fighter, snagged a unanimous decision victory over Takashi Sato at UFC Vegas 73’s opening bout over the weekend. However, Gorimbo revealed that the triumph meant much more to him than just validation as a UFC fighter.
Recalling his financial struggles, Gorimbo revealed that he came to America seven weeks ago without enough money to cover even his basic necessities. He only had enough money to pay for his flight and transportation to the gym, and was therefore grateful when a friend sent him $200. During his post-fight, he revealed that he had only $7 in his account and that winning the fight was not just about overcoming a test as a UFC fighter, but also as a breadwinner for his family.
As he had no team and no place to practice for his fight, Gorimbo found MMA Masters in Miami, where he says he slept on a gym couch leading up to the bout. The financial struggles that accompanied his fight were unbearable, especially as Gorimbo has a wife and family back home who depend on him to provide for them.
Thankfully, Gorimbo was able to rely on his teammates and trainers at MMA Masters for support, including one of the gym’s top prospects and former UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington. Despite the controversies that surrounded Covington’s personality, Gorimbo related stories about his immense kindness and generosity during his camp.
Gorimbo even disclosed that Covington had sometimes brought him food at the gym, which had been a huge help considering Gorimbo’s limited funds. The Zimbabwean fighter expressed his gratitude to Covington, remarking that he was a great man whose true character was not reflected in media speculation.
Gorimbo revealed that he would go on to fight for the belt with the team he has assembled around him at MMA Masters. While Gorimbo’s future is still uncertain, he can rest assured that he has finally achieved his first UFC win, which he attests would be a turning point in his life as a fighter and provider for his household.