The Rock changed a UFC fighter’s life and now he is eyeing a world title in 2024

Sean McCormick
The Rock changed UFC fighter Themba Gorimbo's life and now he is targeting becoming a champion

If you think you may have heard of the name Themba Gorimbo before, there is probably a good reason why.

While the Zimbabwean MMA fighter may not yet be a household name in the UFC, his story touched the heart of WWE legend Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson last year.

Gorimbo moved to the USA to pursue his dream with essentially just the clothes on his back. He slept on a settee in the corner of a Miami gym he was training in and used the purse from his first UFC win to build water wells in his local village in Zimbabwe.

He had just $7 in his bank account before the Rock changed his life in July 2023.

While filming a segment for a promo for Johnson’s apparel line through Under Armour, which has a contract with the UFC, Gorimbo was stunned when the Rock was stood behind him.

The pair embraced but the best surprise was still to come. After discussing his story with the Hollywood actor, and showing him his sleeping arrangements, the Rock took him for a ride in his car.

He then gifted Gorimbo a house where he now lives with his wife and two children. His life has changed since that day and he now has big ambitions for his fighting career.

Gorimbo now targets 2024 UFC title shot

That day, Gorimbo promised Johnson he would repay his faith in him and become a champion. And he made a perfect start on that promise on Saturday night, beating Pete Rodriguez via first round TKO in Las Vegas in his third UFC fight.

He then called out welterweight world champion Leon Edwards and vowed to become a champion in 2024.

“I want the biggest opportunities and want to fight the baddest guys,” Gorimbo said after his win.

“I want to become the champion in 2024. Whether that’s against Leon [Edwards] or [Shavkat] Rakhmanov, it doesn’t matter.”

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About The Author

Sean McCormick is the Sports Editor at Dexerto. He has a BA in Sports Journalism and over the last seven years has worked as a writer, reporter and an editor across titles such as Chronicle Live, Leeds Live and Manchester Evening News covering the region's football clubs and sports stars. Sean loves football, boxing, MMA, darts and NBA. You can email him here: