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Untapped Potential: Themba Gorimbo

After an inspirational story that left him with $7 to his name and eventually meeting Dwyane Johnson. Themba “The Answer” Gorimbo will have a chance to continue his untapped potential in the UFC. Gorimbo will aim for his second consecutive win when he faces Pete Rodriguez on February 3rd.

Themba Gorimbo

Themba Gorimbo- Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/The Guardian

Themba’s Story

Themba’s backstory is amazing, from his upbringing to making it to the UFC. Growing up in Zimbabwe, Themba had a good life until he lost his mother and father at 13 years old and went to work to mine illicit Diamonds under harsh conditions. Where he said, “I saw people die in front of me at a very young age.” Saying he was “very lucky” that he survived being bitten and dragged by German Shepherds sometimes when he was underground. When Gorimbo was able to go to South Africa, he spent a week in jail for being a refugee but had enough money to bribe the authorities. But for Themba, his luck was about to turn around without him knowing it.

Before his first win against Takashi Sato, Themba showed his bank account balance of $7.49, and it was later revealed he was sleeping on the couch in the back of his gym. The post caught Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson’s attention, which resulted in The Rock meeting up at Themba’s gym in Florida and surprising him with a house. The Rock also stated that “he knew what it was like to have $7 to his name.” and having a dream. After this life-changing experience, Gorimbo was ready to unleash his untapped potential.

The Rock meets Themba Gorimbo- image SportsKeeda

How He’s Doing In The UFC

Making his way onto the UFC scene In February 2023, Themba had his debut fight against AJ Fletcher, but unfortunately, he lost to a guillotine choke in the second round. However, Themba didn’t give up and worked hard in the lab. This led to a decision win against Takashi Sato three months later. With seven out of his eleven wins coming by finish in his career, “The Answer” has six wins by submission. At the same time, he hasn’t made any submission attempts yet in the UFC. Themba has proven that he is a fantastic grappler, and he has the power in his hands to put opponents on their backs.

Themba was initially slated to fight Kiefer Crosbie. However, Crosbie withdrew a couple of days ago. Themba is now fighting Pete Rodriquez, who is 1-1 in the UFC, with all five of his wins in his career coming by knockout. This fight will be the biggest test of Themba’s chin, especially if he can’t get this fight to the ground or keep this fight at a distance. However, with a good gas tank, Gorimbo doesn’t look past any opponents. He should be able to use his wrestling pedigree to slow this fight down and hopefully get a win.

Themba Gorimbo, UFC Vegas 69

Themba Gorimbo – image Eddie Law/Cageside Press


As said before, Themba’s story is inspirational, and his untapped potential in the UFC is only being discovered. He is one of the few Untapped Potential athletes who have a chance to fully maximize their potential. From getting bitten and dragged by German shepherds, almost bleeding out. Gorimbo eventually made it into the UFC. Having a solid wrestling background and the tools to move up the rankings in the welterweight division. Make sure you catch his next fight against Pete Rodriguez on February 3rd.

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