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UFC fighter Themba Gorimbo only had $7 going into his fight against Takashi Sato

It's not a rags-to-riches story just yet, but UFC welterweight Themba Gorimbo is on his way...

The welterweight faced off against Takashi Sato on UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Seeing wrestling as his path to victory, Gorimbo shot and controlled Sato against the cage for most of the first round. Gorimbo's big moment came at the start of the second, when an overhand right floored Sato. He pounced, raining hammer fists and emptying the gas tank, but the referee felt Sato had done enough to escape danger.

However, it didn't really matter because Gorimbo won the fight by unanimous decision, earning him his first victory in the organisation and a first for Zimbabwean MMA.

Gorimbo, who was a nervous wreck in his UFC debut, was choked out by AJ Fletcher in February. In his post-fight interview, he made reference to the chorus of disappointment that came from home as a result of the defeat.

"Straight after my loss, when I got home, everybody [looked at me] like a guy that was smelling like s**t," he told MMA Mania's Alex Behunin.

“It’s been a roller coaster. I didn’t have money, if you look at my bank account there’s $7 right now. In my bank account, there’s $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 byproduct of getting the win.”

Without a team and a place to train to get ready for his fight, Gorimbo found MMA Masters in Miami, where he says he slept on a couch in the corner of the gym leading up to the bout. With a wife and family back home, the financial struggles were impossible to ignore.

Luckily, while he was at MMA Masters, Gorimbo was able to get support from his teammates and training partners — including the likely next challenger for the UFC welterweight title in Colby Covington.

“Colby Covington, he’s such a great guy,” Gorimbo said. “Sometimes, Colby Covington would [bring me food] at the gym. And people say what they want about him, but that guy is a great man. You have to know him to really know him, just like me.

“At the end of the day, it’s business. I’m going all the way to the belt with the team that I have right now.”


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